Baby Lemonade

68% Pure Imagination

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A gleefully silly romp through the more twee side of '60s pop culture, the full-length debut by Los Angeles' Baby Lemonade is like their compatriots the Wondermints (most of whom guest here) on a laughing-gas jag. Co-leaders Mike Randle and Rusty Squeezebox have a thing for silly puns (what child of the '70s didn't call Little Miss Physical "Oblivion Neutron Bomb" at least once?) and goofy nods to popular culture of all stripes ("Santanaclaus," anyone?), the group is also capable of direct, no-nonsense pop songs like the rattling "Shake the Shelter" and the lovely ballad "Luminosity." The best songs, however, are those on which Randle and Squeezebox let their pop-freak flags fly, as on the Smile-like suite "Brooke and the Sandman" and a lovely, gentle recasting of Love's "You Set the Scene" that transforms the song into an extended, almost Brazilian groove. The closing "Open Up," a ten-and-a-half-minute stab at a heavier psychedelia, falls flat in comparison.

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