Strawberry Whiplash Hits In The CarMatinée Recordings
Article written by
Tom B - May 14, 2012
From 2008 onwards, Strawberry Whiplash, who feature Laz from Bubblegum Lemonade, have released three excellent EPs and we have been gnashing at the bit for a full length long player ever since.
So is Hits In The Car, a concept album about the rise and subsequent decline and failure of a relationship, worth the wait? Well simply put it's a big 'yes'. Opener "Do You Crash Here Often" sets the tone with its 1960s bubblegum pop sound which fits perfectly alongside Sandra's sublime vocals.
Tracks on the album's taster single "Stop, Look & Listen" hinted at the band moving away from those 1960s influenced roots to a more 1980s indie, or dare I say C86, sound. This is more than evidenced by the way Strawberry Whiplash manage to out Primitive the reformed Primitives! Songs such as "You Make Me Shine" and "Looking Out For Summer" have that Pure (pun intended!) 1980s Primitives sound. They are Lovely (alright I will stop it now...)
They also get a bit fuzzy along the way too, paying homage to those fine Scottish bands of the past such as early Mary Chain (Laz gets a bit Jim Reid-ish when he sings), The Shop Assistants, The Fizzbombs, Baby Lemonade etc, from whom they derive numerous influences. Check out Now I Know It's You as an example. There is even a bit of shoegaze in the mix too, especially on album closer First Light Of Dawn which sounds a bit al la Lush, transporting me back twenty odd years in time.
Hits In The Car is a great example of guitar driven pop with an abundance of catchy tunes that will make you want to hitch a permanent ride with Laz and Sandra. Back to the future? Methinks so!