Category: The Mighty Lemon Drops

The Mighty Lemon Drops – Happy Head

ARTIST: The Mighty Lemon Drops                    51loxkxrobl-_sx355_

TITLE:  Happy Head

YEAR RELEASED: 1986

CHART ACTION: #58 UK

SINGLES: Like an Angel, The Other Side of You (#67 UK), My Biggest Thrill

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: You C86 devotees know a few more.

LINEUP: Paul Marsh, Dave Newton, Tony Linehan, Keith Rowley.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: One of the bands at the forefront of the C86 power-pop movement, the debut of the Mighty Lemon Drops seems to be a more jangly Echo & the Bunnymen.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Using a Rickenbacker or a Vox 12-string (depending) and bass guitar riffs that carry the core of the song, the Mighty Lemon Drops made quite a splash in the UK independent movement called C86.

This debut collects 12 tracks, that while similar, show their influences (Echo & the Bunnymen for sure) and their ingenuity. Paul Marsh’s vocals carry the mood – somewhat dour, yet hopeful.

The songs do sound similar, which means there’s not a lot of variety. But the singles and a few other cuts make this worthwhile if you think you’d like mid-80’s UK jangly guitars in minor keys.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: When they first came up in the random rotation, this album wasn’t streaming, but their later albums were. Now, this is streaming and their later albums are not. Why can’t they all be?

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes – some bonus tracks on the CD

GRADE: B+:  Brings back memories of college radio for me.

 

The Mighty Lemon Drops – World Without End

ARTIST: The Mighty Lemon Drops  MI0001714224
TITLE: World Without End
YEAR RELEASED: 1988
CHART ACTION: #34 UK
SINGLES: Inside Out (#74 UK), Fall Down (Like the Rain)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: If you listened to college radio in 1988, probably some more off this album you’d recognize
LINEUP: Paul Marsh, Dave Newton, Keith Rowley, Tony Linehan
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: My goodness, if this wasn’t Echo & the Bunnyemen circa 1980, it’s a reasonable facsimile. Psychedelic UK post-punk or something akin to that is what the wags called it.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: This is the second full length by the Mighty Lemon Drops (more on that below) and the first album to get them noticed here in the US on College Radio (it was the #1 album in that genre in 1988).

There are plenty of psychedelic flourishes in the guitars. Everything seems to be in a dour minor key. There’s no doubt that Echo & the Bunnymen influenced them, and it’s uncanny how similar these bands are (just about 6-7 years apart).

I can see why College Radio loved them, songs like “Inside Out” and “One by One” are perfect for that genre – alternative but not totally crossing the line to avant garde repulsion. It’s a familiar sound, yet also one that’s not mainstream. So relive your college daze…er…days.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: OK, the MLD released a bunch of singles independently, then released an album that got rave reviews (Happy Head) that’s now streaming.  Then they released an EP that’s streaming, but I decided not to review because it seems more single + leftovers + live cuts. And now THIS record isn’t streaming. The kicker is that everything is on the same record company. So, what gives? What gives?

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A bonus track CD version is available.

GRADE: B: I like this kind of college radio rock, even if it is derivative. A couple songs rise above and the rest are pleasant but kind of inconsequential.