Posts Tagged ‘lunchbox loves you’

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.

[Print edition]

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.


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.


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.


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.


Lunchbox at El Planeta Amarillo

LUNCHBOX son un dúo de Oakland (California) formado por Tim Brown y Donna McKean (ambos miembros de HARD LEFT) que publicaron varios álbumes entre 1996 y 2002, en diferentes sellos como Magic Marker o 555 Recordings, y es ahora Jigsaw quién les publica su nuevo trabajo, formado por diez formidables canciones de bubblegum pop de guitarras fuzzy y ensoñadoras melodías con un sonido de aspecto lo-fi pero realmente encantador, sonando entre THE BEACH BOYS y los primeros STEREOLAB. Todo ha sido después de que editaran un álbum hace un año con el nombre de BIRDS OF CALIFORNIA, y volvieran de nuevo ahora con otro trabajo, pero esta vez con su nombre de siempre, LUNCHBOX. Se trata de una decena de canciones que rozan la media hora de duración total, y en las que se percibe que no han perdido un ápice de inspiración ni de frescura para facturar estribillos redondos y tremendamente pegadizos. Se aprecian agradables influencias del power-pop y del soft-pop psicodélico de la escuela Elephant 6, añadiendo ocasionales cuerdas, vientos y flautas, que hacen aún más interesante este nuevo trabajo. El disco ha sido publicado en CD y en un precioso vinilo de color rojo. Adictivos!


Lunchbox at Did Not Chart

It seems too strong to say that Lunchbox have been written out of history simply because they were never in it. They wouldn’t have existed without Rocketship – whose jubilant keyboards and punchy guitar riffs inform Lunchbox’s moves – who themselves haven’t even got into the history books.

But Lunchbox Loves You, their 5th album, deserves at least a footnote of its own in pop history. Any 1 of these 10 songs could turn winter into summer. Past forays into shoegaze are gone and pop is all over the place. So Lunchbox Loves You shares sonic space with The Aisler Set’s The Last Match, Beulah’s When Your Heartstrings Break and The Fun and Games’ Elephant Candy.

Sweet though this is, sickly it ain’t. Like The Beach Boys, Lunchbox hide sadness in sunbeams. On Another Dance Floor they’re just “trying to forget myself…I could be someone else”. They’re from California. Of course they are.


Lunchbox at Dagger

I’ve always liked this Bay Area indie pop trio (well, husband/wife of Tim and Donna and then whomever on drums…at one time it was my old pal Shannon Handy….this record is mostly just Tim and Donna though) but never went ape-crazy over ‘em like a lot of my pals did. Well, this record is where I go ape-crazy as this is a terrific pop record! They’ve done it….melodies, harmonies, horns, everything (fans of Rocketship will not be disappointed)! It’s their first record in over a decade (Tim and Donna were still making music , but under a different name) Right from the get-go, “Everybody Knows” opens it up with a rush of sugar straight to the brain followed by the slightly less sugary “Tom What’s Wrong?” followed by another pure rush of “Will You be True?” You freaks want more? Check out the righteous,jangly “Another Dancefloor” or the soaring “I Go Mad”, but honestly, there’s not a band song on here. At ten songs in just under a half hour it’s the perfect length for a pop record (IMO) and not a minute wasted. Drop that old Hanna Barbera lunchbox off at the Goodwill and pick this one up, you won’t be disappointed.


Lunchbox at Whisperin and Hollerin

This lovely blood red vinyl arrived with a press release stating that due to Jigsaw Records’ unorthodox practices this album doesn’t have a fancy Press release. So I have decided to review this album using the unorthodox practice of entirely making up my own fictitious back story for Lunchbox and the album Lunchbox Loves you as well as a concept for the album that has nothing to do with any of the info on the actual website!!

Lunchbox formed a few years ago when school friends Tim Brown and Donna McKean bonded over the fact that both their mothers had posters of Linford Christie’s legendary lunchbox on the fridge doors and they both wondered why, living in Oakland California, they had mums obsessed with an British sprinter. While still at school they pledged to form a band and record a concept album about this experience and Linford Christie’s lunchbox and Lunchbox Loves You is the result of that childhood idea. Rather than the follow up to an album that came out ages ago or the other bands they may be famous for having played in. You with me so far?

The album comes sprinting out of the blocks on Everybody Knows like Linford Christie re-imagined as The Vaselines having a tambourine off with the Buzzcocks. It has the edge of the perfect start getting up to full speed just in time for Linford to ask Tom, What’s Wrong? Well the real answer to that of course is that Tom doesn’t look half as good as Linford in those skin tight lycra shorts. That and the fact that he didn’t get any tortilla chips in his lunchbox today.

On Will You Be True there is an explosion of jangle pop as Linford flies by a couple of opponents and they are happy as he’s on the telly and well, will you be true to him? of course they will be true to Linford’s Lunchbox. What You Don’t Know Won’t Hurt You deals with the vexed question of whether Linford’s coaches would have doped him without telling him or not and how he would have reacted had his lunchbox shrunk over delicious Raspberries-style repetitious jangles.

Die Trying is about Linford’s epic struggle to be the best in the world at both 100 and 200 metres, while never finishing out of the first three and never failing to sound more like the Darling Buds than Kris Akabusi. It Feels Good To Lose is written from the perspective of one of Linford’s opponents who is gazing at Linford’s bum as it crosses the line in front of him again and he can’t help but admire his superior abilities. This is all sung over some very fey, winsome and quite lovely cool shimmering guitars and keyboards.

Another Dance Floor sees them trying to approach Linford on the dance floor as the object of their desire in a reversal of You Look Good on the Dance Floor. The dynamics are a little skewed, and jangly guitars help crush you as the man with the huge lunchbox hooks up with someone else. I love the flute that floats in the background of I Go Mad as the pleadingly lusty jangle pop tells us of their obsession to never go five minutes without watching Linford’s magnificent lunchbox sprinting towards you.

Give A Little Love is a cool little sing-along plea for a little love and just hoping that the Lunchbox reciprocates the love. The album crosses the finish line in gold medal position with the rackety Tonight Is Out Of Sight, which could have been on the Dandy Warhols first album. It’s a real sprint finish with the trumpets signalling a fanfare as Linford crosses the line arms raised and that big smile plastered all over your face because he understands jangle pop this good is still being made. 


Lunchbox at babysue

Cool underground guitar pop from Seattle, Washington’s Lunchbox. The folks in this band eventually changed their name to Birds of California…but then opted to change their name back to Lunchbox. Smart move…cuz we love the band name (it sure fits the music). There’s so much overprocessed music in the world today. Perhaps that’s why the tunes on this album are so refreshing and real. The folks in this band opt to keep things extremely simple and direct, offering their tunes using only the essential ingredients in order to get the point across. But songs are what matter most, of course…and songs are what make Lunchbox Loves You such a totally cool spin. These folks have a sparkling smart sound that reminds us of some of the cooler underground bands in Great Britain in the 1990s. Whether the tune features male or female vocals or both…this band’s cool bubblegummy pop sound is sure to put you in a great frame of mind. Our favorite tracks include “Everybody Knows,” “Will You Be There?”, “I Go Mad,” and “Tonight Is Out Of Sight.”