Ah, the gray days of winter are here, and they bring back the hankering for the Mighty Lemon Drops, especially World Without End. While not necessarily winter music, that’s when it always made most sense to me, enhanced by the black and white photo of the band on the cover underneath bare trees. The music chimes in, drives forward, but still has a gray, brooding mope. Most often compared to Echo & the Bunnymen, the Mighty Lemon Drops were often my companion driving around the suburbs at night caught up in the emotional mess of high school.
2011 saw the return of the Mighty Lemon Drops guitarist/songwriter David Newton. Yielding an EP Paint the Town with the backing partners known as Thee Mighty Angels, the music recalls the gray mope of the Mighty Lemon Drops, although there’s less angst. “It’s time to paint the town,” Newton sings over stretched out guitar, keys, and pop-influenced rhythms. “Bittersweet” begins with a bit more edge in the guitar, but there’s still a way in which you want do a pop frolic to it. Newton has perhaps grown out of some of the angst and now brings that new perspective to the music today. “Everything is Just So” reminds me of the Britpop rock in Spearmint or the Free French. Newton’s EP closes out with “My First Band,” a duck back inside the garage for instantly accessible guitar riffs and keyboard bounce, telling the story of hopes and dreams of starting a rock band.