You think of California. You think of sun, sea and sand. You think of the righteous pursuit of the ultimate reverb. You might even think of a band with a cool name. A band like The Aquadolls, perhaps, and you might even wonder what their place is in the great musical firmament.
I know for a fact that you can’t overdose on charm and charm is key to the appeal of The Aquadolls. They even use it hide the fact that with the sunshine comes the inevitable shadows. So, while “We Are Free” seems dated but so full of reverb and idealism that even the Shadow would have to approve of it, it is merely a demonstration of flexibility. Similarly, “Sha La La” has the innate cuteness of retro influenced sugar coated candy in its favour and makes for something of a low budget homage to the spirit of pre-prison Spector.
Those shadows next. Nearly next anyway as the pure fun of the amped up “Rich Boyz” also raises a smile with its energetically skewed pathos. “Charles Manson (Teenage Creep)”, however, is the bleak mood piece of this short eight song set with distant soundbites underpinning a story of alienation told through the oblique use of musical fragments more than words. A journey into the darkness indeed.
Whilst relentlessly lo-fi, and none the worse for that, The Aquadolls make the garage sound like the best place in the planet to hang out. So be a mermaid and swim with them in the ocean of the past. That’s their place.
Available from Bandcamp.