Thursday, April 24, 2008

From Bubblegum To Sky

PiL, meds, disco, half Mexican, half Japanese, The SOS Band, monster guitar riffs, drinking, more drinking, The dB’s, divorce, death, arrests, cannibalism, no compromises, The Bee Gees, shimmering melodies and stalking. FROM BUBBLEGUM TO SKY ain’t no sunny pop affair – it just sounds like it.

A Soft Kill, the third full-length album by FROM BUBBLEGUM TO SKY is certain to be considered one of the greatest one-man albums of the year (if not the only one-man album of the year). Only the maturity that comes with brushing against and immersing oneself in the influences mentioned above could bring out an album that is at once ultimately catchy, realistically morose, and expertly played.

The one man is Mario Hernandez and he’s been wrestling with a few demons. Hernandez’s previous records Me and Amy and the Two French Boys (Eenie Meenie, 2000) and Nothing Sadder Than Lonely Queen (Eenie Meenie, 2004) certainly hinted at genius – what with the confessional lyrics sung in a helium tinged voice that lights the drapes on fire meeting the hook laden crunch fest that cools ‘em down. He demurs, stating, “This record is much more inspired – less obvious indie pop, more organic and drunk. It’s an outlet and easily my favorite record.”

A Soft Kill in a sense revolves around the concept of the vices people use to kill themselves slowly. Feelings we’ve all felt are wrapped in pristine pop melodies, sandpaper-y guitars and a vocal style dictated by the radio programs of second generation pop songs and high voiced singers that Hernandez listened to before departing Japan for America at the age of 12.

As a self-contained pop machine (occasionally joined by bassist Frank Jordan and Keyboardist Bill Evans) Hernandez does the control freak edict of Billy Corgan and Dave Grohl proud on A Soft Kill. No one should be playing drums on a FROM BUBBLEGUM TO SKY record but Hernandez -- this kind of urgency demands the percussive touch of the author, after all! And is he ever keeping time – 11 songs, 30 minutes. It doesn’t get any better.

“I feel like it’s a band, even though it’s just me,” he says. “The things that people are doing to me, or I’m doing to them, or whatever experiences I’m having -- that’s the band. I couldn’t write without those experiences and in a way that’s what a band member does.”

FROM BUBBLEGUM TO SKY’s A Soft Kill will be released by Eenie Meenie Records as a digital download and vinyl LP only. The vinyl configuration will come packaged with a FROM BUBBLEGUM TO SKY t-shirt designed exclusively by the Brown Sound Clothing Company, available online and in select lifestyle stores. Check out the company that created this exclusive offer HERE.

Download the single Even The Sunbeams.

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