Sweet Bulbs | Sweet Bulbs

Blackburn Recordings (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  January 19, 2011
3.5 3.5 Stars

 Sweet_Main

Sweet Bulbs guitarist Michael Sheffield previously released tapes with his hardcore-punk band Michael Jordan. But with his new Brooklyn outfit, Sheffield's songwriting sensibilities rest in a noise-pop sweet spot between the aggressive, pop-punk edge of Jawbreaker and the early Slumberland-era fuzz of Black Tambourine. Recorded independently over three days at a friend's house in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, the band's textured debut comprises 11 quick tracks of punky dreampop. It starts with "Acid and TV," where vocalist Inna Mkrtycheva's dark, dreamy lines hardly escape the noise of Sheffield pounding on distorted guitar riffs. In "Eyes Feathers," the angsty lyrics may not be matched by Mkrtycheva's unaffected, shoegazing vocals, but the points are driven home by the stripped-down percussion. (On stage, drummer Ray Weiss stands assertively over his drum set.) The record's selling point could be the way it takes slack-pop lines and makes them sound like teen anthems: "Won't you come to my house?/I'll make sure everyone is out," asks the chorus of the most instantly infectious track, "Springstung." Another draw of Sweet Bulbs is its immediacy: it's all of 21 minutes, and five of the songs last less than 120 seconds. But the brevity doesn't leave you disappointed — only wanting more.

  Topics: CD Reviews , dreampop, noise-pop
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