News updates for Lunchbox

Lunchbox at Austin Town Hall

Lunchbox returned last year with the most excellent, Lunchbox Loves You.  It seems to have ignited a fire beneath the band, as they’re already back with a brand new EP for your ears. It reminds me of taking the foundations of jangling indiepop and fusing it with the work of earlyWeezer (when everyone liked them, you know). Of course, that comparison brings nothing but hooks and great listens time and time again…there’s even some spots where you can fill in your own handclaps. You can grab their Smash Hits EP next week from Jigsaw Records.

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Lunchbox at Big Takeover

Singer/guitarist Tim Brown and bassistDonna McKean have been perfecting their sugary rock recipe as Lunchbox on and off for over 15 years now.

Last year, the duo released Lunchbox Loves You to renewed acclaim.

Their latest is a six song appetizer of even stickier, rot-your-teeth-out power pop.

Dubbed the Smash Hits EP, the duo’s candy coated approach to indie rock will satisfy the appetites of fans who regularly say grace at the table of scrappy rock GodsGuided By Voices.

Feelings of boredom, melancholy and heart-bursting love are dealt with by way of pop rocks n’ coke fueled guitar and an excellent guest drummer. All of the above flavors can be sampled on stand-out thrasher “Love Song.”

On “Flatland”, Brown begins by asking, “Where does the time go/and what does it do?” only to sneer that he doesn’t know and neither do you. That lyric could serve as the mission statement for Smash Hits, which zips by in just over 13 minutes.

Luckily, a quick tap of the replay button can suffice until their next smorgasbord is released.

 

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Lunchbox at Big Takeover

If you find this Lunchbox in your knapsack, I guarantee there won’t be any leftovers to bring home to mom. The mostly Donna McKean fronted Oakland outfit splashes a dense, buzzing cornucopia of jangly guitars (not to mention other accouterments, including the flute) against a bubblegum flavored canvas. If an unremitting cavalcade of in the business of layering, and the business is damn good, doubly giving them an advantage over their humdrum contemporaries. A retrofitted aesthetic prevails as well, not dissimilar to the Apples in Stereo’s reconfiguration of the British Invasion circa the late 90’s, and choosing a favorite on Lunchbox is analogous to a parent settling on their favorite child. True, sometimes the going here more subdued than aggressive. but its unlikely that you’ll be returning to class hungry.

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Lunchbox at Power Popaholic

Oakland, California duo Tim Brown and Donna McKean are Lunchbox. The band is very much in the style of Apples in Stereo with its twee vocals and compact bubblegum melodies. Starting with “Everybody Knows” it sets up the sound with multi-layered harmonies and instrumentation, next “Tom, What’s Wrong” is like a teenage poem with its rhyming lyrics and minor chord shifts.

There is a punk spirit underneath each pop confection, “Will You Be True” with its fuzz guitar and distorted vocals shimmers along. The simple love songs also recall The Beach Boys with its innocent attitude and composition, a good example being “It Feels Good To Lose.” Each song is wonderfully realized without a hint of filler. Like hearing lost AM pop classics through an indie-rock lens, it really impressed me with its consistency and quality. Highly recommended.

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Primitives, Luxembourg Signal, Close Lobsters, and Lunchbox at Linear Tracking Lives

Click through to read their year end top 40 list.

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Lunchbox at Innocent Words

After more than a decade off, the Berkley power pop band Lunchbox is back with what is easily their finest collection of songs. A little goofy, but immensely fun, ‘Lunchbox Loves You’ is 10 indie pop songs brimming with jangly guitars, singalong choruses and plenty of hand claps.

Infectiously optimistic, the band has slimmed down the lineup a bit, as well as their influences (assuming The Apples In Stereo and The Kinks are in constant rotation in the tour van). Donna McKean and Tim Brown trade off vocals—each a strong singer without coming off as too polished—and this latest effort finds the band adding layer upon layer of guitars and strings.

Songs like “Tom, What’s Wrong?” and the fantastic album closer, “Tonight is Out of Sight” are both standout tracks, but to be honest, there isn’t a single song on this record that doesn’t deserve to be included. It may have taken 12 years, but Lunchbox Loves You was certainly worth waiting for.

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Lunchbox at Independent Clauses

Quirky, cheery, eccentric Elephant 6-style pop somehow morphs into a Burt Bacharach string arrangement and lounge vibes, which is an impressive trick.

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Lunchbox at This is Book’s Music

Lunchbox changed their name to Birds Of California, and then decided they wanted to revert back to Lunchbox again. If you’re into good ol’ pop with a pinch of bubblegum rock, you’ll want to pick up a box of their candy right now, which is called Lunchbox Loves You (Jigsaw). The songs sound like innocent-yet-direct pop rock, the type your parents may have listened to, if not your grandparents, and while that may sound like a snappy joke, it isn’t. Take to heart the music of Big Star, The Monkees, Sleater-Kinney, and The Fastbacks, and throw in a daring Velvet Underground tendency and you’ll get what Lunchbox are trying to envelope themsleves in: hints of the good stuff and a layer of darkness they want to throw in when no one is paying attention. Except you, you get it.

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Lunchbox at Neufutur

After more than a decade off, the Berkley power pop band Lunchbox is back with what is easily their finest collection of songs. A little goofy, but immensely fun, Lunchbox Loves You is 10 indie pop songs brimming with jangly guitars, sing-along choruses and plenty of handclaps.

Infectiously optimistic, the band has slimmed down the line up a bit, as well as their influences (Assuming The Apples In Stereo and The Kinks are in constant rotation in the tour van). Donna McKean and Tim Brown trade off vocals – each a strong singer without coming off as too polished – and this latest effort finds the band adding layer upon layer of guitars and strings.

Songs like “Tom, What’s Wrong?” and the fantastic album closer, “Tonight is Out of Sight,” are both standout tracks, but to be honest there isn’t a single song on this record that doesn’t deserve to be included. It may have taken 12 years, but Lunchbox Loves You was certainly worth waiting for.

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Lunchbox at Get it On Vinyl

When it comes to indie-pop, there seems to be two avenues in which an artist can approach the genre. Some opt for deep sentiments and lyrical content, covering it with airy vocals and guitars with excessive reverb. Others give into the sound and their lyrics are more carefree, their subject matter shallower. While both have their place, we prefer the later, and their in lies the appeal of Lunchbox.

For those unfamiliar with Lunchbox, as we were, the band hails from Oakland, CA and is fronted by both guitarist Tim Brown and bassist Donna McKean.Lunchbox Loves You is the bands third full length, after a name change (Bird of California) and back to Lunchbox.

Lunchbox Loves You is full of all kinds of sugary goodies including carefree vocals, jangly guitars and light-hearted songs that are easy to enjoy.

While it would be easy simply to call this a indie-pop record, its clear by the end of the first few tracks that there are multiple influences at play. Tracks like “Tom, What’s Wrong” have the feeling of 60’s girl group including subtle overdubs and swing beats. At times, psychedelia elements come into play; “Will You Be True” features Brown on lead vocals. While they are right on time, they seem buried, almost as if they are coming in on a satellite delay from a distant spaceship. The clarity comes at the end when everything seems to find their volume level and timing and for a brief moment borders on absolute beauty.

The B-side opens the door to more instrumentation which saves the album from diving into monotony. Along with a flute melody on “I Go Mad,” the changes keep coming with the uptempo “Give a Little Love.” The track is an old-school rock track with plenty of “doo doos” and hum along grooves. While the lyric content reaches its simplest (rhyming sad with glad) the track is solid and one of the best on the album.

Closing out the LP is perhaps the biggest surprise. “Tonight is Out of Sight” concludes the LP with an intense punk style jam. While it comes completely out of left field, it somehow seems to close the album out well, demonstrating that we have not heard all of the tricks that Lunchbox has to offer.

The Vinyl
Released on Jigsaw Records, the record is pressed on transparent red wax and includes a full color insert and digital download. You can order your copy from your local independent record store or directly from Jigsaw Records.

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