Pure Pop For Now People

Cover coloring book


FOR 08
Hyperbubble - Music To Color By CD

Bands origin: San Antonio, TX, USA
Record title: Music To Color By
Format: 10-track CD + coloring book
Release date: 2016
Artwork: Hyperbubble

- Sunburst Yellow
- Poppy Red
- Lime Peel
- Aquamarine
- Nectar
- Black Raspberry
- Periwinkle
- Imperial Violet
- Hot Pink
- Spanish Orange

Musicians on this record:
- Jess DeCuir
- Jeff DeCuir

- CD was released in the USA

I have to hand it to Jeff and Jess DeCuir; not content to just crank out their "usual stuff", the usual stuff being quirky synthpop songs with vocals, they've tried their hand at movie soundtrack albums, a live album, and now, with 'Music to Color By,' an instrumental synthesizer album, and a coloring book to go with it. (Sorry, you'll have to buy your own crayons.) I was laboring under a misconception about Hyperbubble; for some reason I thought Jeff handled all the synths and programming and Jess did all the vocals, but Jess actually plays synths too, along with theremin. There are no vocals on this album though; maybe they didn't want to distract you from coloring inside the lines.

Let's take a look at the book first (which was drawn by both of them). It's kind of a mish-mosh psychedelic pop art affair with synthesizers, cats, robots, Jess & Jeff, and psych designs all done up in cartoony fashion. Black & white of course because you're supposed to provide the color. It's only 16 pages but on heavy paper and full-size 8 1/2" x 11". My favorite page is "Moloko Velocat," a feline take on the Korova Milk Bar from 'A Clockwork Orange'. Ar the bottom of the front cover it says San Antonio Museum of Art where they apparently had their release party for this, and where you can also find it for sale. To my knowledge, not many (if any) rock bands have put out coloring books, although there is a Punk Rock coloring book and an Indie Rock coloring book that I know of, so maybe this is a first for an individual band. Kitschy pop art, and a neat novelty item.

Tracks on the CD are named for colors, such as "Sunburst Yellow," "Poppy Red," "Lime Peel," "Nectar," "Periwinkle," etc. I was a little disappointed to not find a "Mango Tango" or a "Jazzberry Jam" but you can only have so many colors in ten tracks. All tracks are somewhat brief (nothing over 4:19) so you're only getting a half-hour's worth of music but it's sufficient. The music is expectedly simple in the rhythm and melody departments, but varied enough in the arrangements to be entertaining. Think very 80's - Giorgio Moroder and Yellow Magic Orchestra with a touch of Kraftwerk and Telex. It's all pretty up
and happy stuff with the possible exception of the last track, "Spanish Orange," which sounds like an unused demo by Gary Numan or Ultravox. So Hyperbubble remains true to their formula with the content here, but I felt they could have done more with it- at least one lengthier track synthetically adventurous and spacey, inspiring synesthesia in a non-pop tune format.

So if you're already a Hyperbubble fan, you will probably like this. If you don't care for them, 'Music to Color By' will not change your mind, and if you're on the fence, just buy it, be happy, and get out your crayons.

CHAIN D.L.K. (September 11, 2016)