Poptopia!

BIKERIDE
MORNING MACUMBA FULL-LENGTH CD
HIDDEN AGENDA/PARASOL

In a four-album-long career of crafting perfect pop masterpieces, this might be Bikeride's masterpieciest yet. This time, confidence pumped up by a slew of glowing press from the likes of Mojo, Uncut, Magnet and CMJ, the Long Beach band have veered a tad from the constant Beach Boys references that have tailed them in the past and made a disc that actually sounds like something from this decade—more of a Flaming Lips sideshow freak-out than a Brian Wilson bedroom party. There are still undeniably delicious aural nods to the fluttery '60s pop of the Seeds/Turtles/Beatles/Monkees that singer/guitarist Tony Carbone so admires and at least two solid in-a-better-world-smash-hit singles with the sugary disco bump of "Fakin' Amnesia" and the horn-besotted melody orgasm of "Small Faces." As usual for Bikeride, sonic esoterica reigns supreme. Just gander at the instrument list in the credits: clarinets! Ukuleles! Chimes! Hammonds! Farfisas! Wurlitzers! Mellotrons! Cellos! Timpanis! Toy pianos! All sprinkled around songs rarely lasting more than three minutes, save for the Catholic-rich-kid opus "Americans In Rome," which, at nearly five minutes, qualifies as something of a bubblegum rock opera. Morning Macumba is lush and deep, jazzy in parts, fabulously non-punk everywhere else. Music that used to be called fun—and in Bikeride's case, eternally is. But really, they ought to play shows around here more often.

Contact: bikeride@bikeride.info; www.bikeride.info.

OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.

 
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