POP MUSIC REVIEW : Mighty Lemon Drops in a Bland Mood
The Mighty Lemon Drops--the name suggests some kind of monstrous confection, a power-sweet in minuscule form. But instead of offering a potent taste of psychocandy at the Palace on Tuesday night, these Drops proved to be a real lemon.
The English quartet, along with bands like the Soup Dragons and the Jesus and Mary Chain, is one of the current front runners in this generation’s breed of moody young Brits, influenced by forerunners like Echo & the Bunnymen and the Buzzcocks. The Lemon Drops’ recent album, “World Without End,” shows they can write a great hook or two--as on the maddeningly catchy mini-hit “Inside Out,” a perfect smart-pop single.
But despite the group’s solid, clean and strong playing Tuesday, there was no verve or fire to lift its solemn jangle above mere proficiency. The strength of the sound was undercut by Paul Marsh’s less-than-zero stage presence and unvaried vocals. There is sensitive and withdrawn--then there’s boring.
In a way the Drops are reminiscent of all those Merseybeat bands that rode on the coattails of the Beatles in the ‘60s. If the Bunnymen or U2 have the same influence the Fab Four once did, then the Drops, for now, are about as significant as Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas. This sonic candy melts in your ear, not in your mind.
Still, the Drops were a godsend compared to the opening combos, San Francisco’s cute but predictable Pray for Rain and local poseurs Shadowland (four men, four pairs of leather pants).