Drink Up Buttercup absorb and reconstruct blissed out 1960s psychedelic rock

March 29, 2010 · Print This Article

From the beginning of their debut album, Born and Thrown on a Hook, Drink Up Buttercup, hailing from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, make it quite clear what’s about to happen, warning, “Ask someone to feed your cat/Cause you won’t be back soon/Lock your windows, lock all your doors/And remember your seasickness pills” because “we’re going on a trip.” Oh yes, and a trip is just what Drink Up Buttercup provide, playing accessible psychedelic rock that combines nearly every great aspect of the genre from, say 1965-1975 or so, with a decidedly lo-fi edge.

The album’s overall sound cannot be summed 513XhX1W8HL._SL500_AA300_up in a simple phrase or two; each song truly sounds different from every other, making for an incredibly diverse listen that showcases the band’s immense versatility. But, throughout the process, several tropes return: tape manipulation, lush vocal overdubs, a tendency toward a demented carnivalesque atmosphere, and contrast between “dark” lyrical subject matter and raucous, radiant sonic reverberation.

Sitting back-to-back, “Doggy Head” and “Even Think” provide two turbulent, foot-stomping anthems to the record; “Even Think” then flawlessly flows into “Gods and Gentlemen,” where the (inevitable and yet still somewhat taboo) comparisons to the Beatles become most essential, due simply to the similarities in vocal harmonics and stylings between the two bands.

But, Drink Up Buttercup are as comfortable in songs on the opposite end of the spectrum, ones that don’t include distortion-ridden guitars or heavy, bluesy riffs, as seen with “Lovers Play Dead” and “Pink Sunshine.” On “Lovers Play Dead,” the band trades in their thunderous drums for a tambourine and other various percussion; where there were electric guitars, only an acoustic guitar and piano currently stand.

In just under 40 minutes, Drink Up Buttercup manage to form a lysergic, hallucinogenic amalgamation of 1960s/1970s psychedelic rock with their own decidedly modern, lo-fi twist that feels like it would be the soundtrack to a deranged fairground or boardwalk. Born and Thrown on a Hook is only the band’s debut—one that already displays a multifaceted sound that is an absolute joy to listen to—and with any luck, they’ll aspire to make their next work just as enthralling as this.—Cassie Traun, Editor



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