One of many unusual and delightful issues concerning the web is that, from time to time, those that are perpetually on-line can witness historical past occurring in actual time. Twitter customers had been aware of this explicit magic in April of final 12 months when Camp Trash guitarist Keegan Bradford unearthed a Bandcamp hidden gem referred to as S/T, the fourth challenge from Michigan-based energy pop quartet Liquid Mike. The group was subsequently launched right into a second of viral indie fame: Though they had been nonetheless a budding native act, this wouldn’t be the case for for much longer — and everybody on Twitter knew.
Now practically a 12 months after the discharge of S/T, Liquid Mike are again with Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot, a brand new and relatively extra subdued LP that additional refines the band’s distinctive sound. Laden with self-deprecating humour and fuzzy riffs, Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot looks like the best soundtrack to a crude, early 2000s coming-of-age film.
Alongside a normal feeling of gritty degeneracy, remorse seems in virtually all of the lyrics on Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot. The album’s opening monitor is bluntly titled “Consuming and Driving,” and the band hit the bottom operating with the high-tempo energy pop they’re now semi-famous for. This vitality continues with extra regretful selections made within the follow-up monitor “K2,” a music about smoking artificial weed together with your crush and having a panic assault collectively. Most of the extra upbeat songs on Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot would possibly really feel only a contact too acquainted, as if Liquid Mike are generally making an attempt to salvage the appeal and attract that made S/T so highly effective.
Although they retread acquainted floor a number of instances, in addition they fortunately handle to broaden on their sound — it’s these extra nuanced and restrained moments that make the challenge really feel like a contemporary and thrilling addition to their discography, as if the band are being pushed to new locations by all these new ears. “Pacer” is a genuinely emotional love music, and its easy however poignant midwestern indie breakdown looks like American Soccer at their finest. “Small Giants” is probably going probably the most relaxed music on the album and simply considered one of its highlights, as Mike Maples croons about rising outdated and giving up. But even in these extra intimate moments there are nonetheless traces of the band’s grit and dirt: “You may shoplift any retailer you need,” Maples coaxes his listeners into believing within the opening traces of “Small Giants.” “It’s not pathetic for those who don’t get caught.”
Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot is a enjoyable and impressive (however not too formidable) growth of Liquid Mike’s sound, stuffed with nostalgia, depravity and genuine introspection in its calmest and best moments. Though it generally feels prefer it’s clawing to satisfy the usual of the band’s earlier work, Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot by no means really disappoints. Generally, you don’t must reinvent the wheel to maintain issues trucking.