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.


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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