In the two years that have passed since his last studio album, Between The Concrete And Clouds, Kevin Devine has been unusually productive. So much so, he’s made the risky decision of releasing two albums simultaneously, each containing a different style of music.
This one-loud/one-quiet formula has had both its successes (Bright Eyes) and its failures (Foo Fighters) in the past, and the Bubblegum / Bulldozer project falls somewhere in the middle. It comes with both its hits and misses, but perhaps the main issue may be the fact that the albums – stylistically, at least – really aren’t all that different. It’s less one-acoustic, one-electric; more one-chorus-pedal, one-fuzz-pedal. The loud tracks are jolty and fun, while the quiet tracks are serene and dreamy. That said, neither carry the kind of atmosphere that demands an entire album dedicated to them.
At a pinch, Bubblegum would be suggested as the one to check out – mostly for tracks like ‘Private First Class’ and ‘Bloodhound’, which give the record the sugar rush it needs. Better still, though, may be the inevitable all-killer-no-filler Spotify playlist that combines the two perfectly.
Bubblegum / Bulldozer is out now through Hobbledehoy.