Bubble Gum Orchestra “The Discovery”
“The Discovery” is Bubble Gum Orchestra’s third album release, created by Jeff Lynne clone Michael Laine Hildebrandt and assisted by brother guitarist/keyboardist Douglas Hildebrandt, accordionist Mitch Rogers, frontman/keyboardist Les Farrington (Sugarbomb) and ex-Wings trumpeter Steve Howard. As expected Hildebrandt takes the stylistic template of ELO and builds original pop compositions.
Catchy and bouncy “Lovely Days, Lovely Nights” is a great example of using the ELO style without over emulating. And he keeps the novelty approach at arms length, except for the tribute to “Evil Woman” with “Evil, Evil Girl.” It’s still a worthy follow up to the original, and “New York City” is another gem that salutes the environs of the late John Lennon. A Beatlesque “First Time For Everything” is another terrific tune, and “One More Night” borrows heavily from ELO’s “Showdown.” And until Mr. Lynne can deliver another ELO album, this will do just fine.
The Sensibles “A Bunch of Animals”
Punk pop band from Italy, The Sensibles comes out of the gate with “Happy” which sounds like a rocking’ party at a dog pound, with vocals similar to Shonen Knife. Each track stays in the 2 -3 minute range, its a perfect example of bubblegum punk. Fans of The Muffs, Ramones, and Yum Yums will love this. Highlights include “Confetti Blizzard,” “I’m A Brat,” “I Want Your Blood,” and “Silly Song.”
The party atmosphere continues throughout the album, and doesn’t leave your head. The tempos vary a bit to keep things from getting tiresome, so if you ever wanted to party at a zoo, I highly recommend this album. At 3 euro (about $4.00) its a bargain too!