Thursday, January 8, 2015
If you're not yet familiar with the hot new sound known as "hard 'gum", that's because the term was only recently coined by the Oakland foursome So What. As you may have gathered, hard 'gum is short for "hard bubblegum". So you know what to expect: sticky-sweet tunes, but with a sharp enough edge to do some serious damage to your teeth! Hailing from an area that's become quite the hotbed for bubblegum and glam rock in recent years, So What are worthy ambassadors for a hard 'gum craze that's poised to go global and perhaps even intergalactic within the next calendar year. In terms of sound and packaging, the band's debut 45 could easily pass for a long-lost junkshop glam single from the early '70s. That's completely by design, as So What indulge their love for the likes of The Jook, Slade, pre-disco Giorgio Moroder, and (especially!) The Equals. "What You Do To Me", penned by Jason Duncan (The Easys, Just Add Water Records), is a high energy rocker with a total "clap your hands, stomp your feet" vibe to it. Punch this baby up on any jukebox, and the dance floor will light up! It was written as an homage to The Equals, and I have a feeling it's going to have a lot of people seeking out more information on one of the most criminally overlooked bands of all-time. B-side "Creeper Joe", written by Robbie Van West, brings more of a classic bubblegum glam sound. It's got those hard, crunchy guitars and a chorus that will compel you to sing along the instant you hear it. And since everyone knows someone like this song's titular character, any violence suggested in these lyrics will be unanimously applauded. Good god, what a catchy tune!
With So What already working on a full album and perhaps another single as well, "What You Do To Me" is a great opportunity to get in on the hard 'gum ground floor before all your friends and neighbors beat you to it! You get two killer tunes with classic mono sound - and the artwork/packaging is stunning! That's a deal and a steal for six bucks! Or if you're thoroughly modern and just want the download, that's the best $3 you'll spend all year. Whether you're a longtime glam rock fanatic or just someone who loves great rock n' roll with hooks, So What is a band you need to hear!