Quick tempos, fuzzy vocals and synchronized/syncopated drums and guitars from Wine Lips on a couple of songs like the opening “Eyes” and “In The Clear” will immediately and vividly remind listeners of mid ’00s Swedish rockers, The Hives. Both these tracks from “Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party,” the latest album released today from this Toronto-based quartet are bangers.
Other songs completing the group’s third full-length release, like “Mall Walker” and “Fingers”recall the late 80’s/early 90s heavy-rock bands like Faster Pussycat or LA Guns, with massive sounding drums and soaring guitar solos. The short penultimate track, “Fried III,” is even an acoustic ballad straight out of the hair-metal rule book.
Lead singer Cam Hilborn’s high-register, slightly nasally swagger and howl is a rare treat to hear. His performance on every track is impassioned and powerful enough to keep up with the tight and cranked-up band playing alongside him.
Recording and production from London, ON’s Sugar Shack is clear and powerful as always. This pumped-up and glossy production may be what aligns many songs like the second track, “Tension,” with an arena-rock sound rather than DIY punk. The album’s sound and influence swings in time alternatively from 1992 to 2002 and back again. A song or two sticks to a sound, before being thrown around again like a ball in a game of beer pong.
In our hyper-politicized, hyper-invasive times, fans and critics demand a lot from people with a platform; either to share their opinions on the news, or share every personal aspect of their psyche. Wine Lips successfully avoid doing either. Close inspection of the lyrics to these fantastically rocking tunes won’t provide you with insight to their philosophies or theories. This isn’t a record likely to save your life, but it might just save your Saturday night. Crank it up and “Suffer The Joy” of Wine Lips’ “Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party.”
Like any great record should be, this album is being released on vinyl – available from today through their bandcamp page in two different limited-edition psychedelic colour-swirl patterns:
Photo Credit: Alex Carre
A bit of a Renaissance man, Steve Murphy is a singer-songwriter, author, and journalist based out of London, Ontario. An avid vinyl collector and audiophile, his personal collection of albums is wide ranging and in the thousands, including four released from his band Westminster Park.