Thursday, November 13, 2008


CRÈME SODA were a Milwaukee-based band of proto-hippie punks who flitted around the edges of just about every sub-genre inherent within “rock and roll”, even those that hadn’t really been codified yet. Their 1974 single “(I’m Chewin’ Gum)” is a stone-cold masterpiece – a frantic, trashed-out slice of echo-slathered, goofball rockabilly that’s at least two-three years ahead of its time. I’m beside myself with the opportunity to present it to you today.

Here’s what I wrote about the band in 2005 not long after I’d heard this 45 for the first time, in the course of reviewing the band’s lone LP, “Tricky Zingers”:

“….I sure had never heard of this private-press proto-whatever LP until Ugly Things' "Primitive Shit Music" feature a few months back, and even then it was only trumpeting the 45 "(I'm) Chewin' Gum / Roses All Around". I searched around a little & found that single and a whole lot more -- which was this LP, the band's only contribution to the canon in their brief lifespan. First, let me second and third the dimwit majesty of the song "(I'm) Chewin' Gum" -- a manic, echophonic, hopped-up rockabilly number all methed up & ready for a greaser knife fight. 1975?!? Are you kidding me? It's immediately top of the charts for 2005 discoveries, and what's more, it's nearly 100% at odds with the rest of the record. The vocals tell me it's the same band, but jeez, I don't know.

CREME SODA's album has got some very pleasant psychedelia and laconic folk rock throughout, with good choruses and a laid back guitar hero ringing away in the background. Without knowing when the record was from, I'd have pegged it as a late 60s thing rather than pre-dating punk by a year. "Tonight", "Keep It Heavy" and "Give It Up (Man)" are the best tracks from that Creme Soda; the one that created "The Beat Song", a backward-looping, "Tomorrow Never Knows"-style droner are another beast entirely. So it's not hard to pass along kudos to such a virtuoso band of 1975 heshers & recommend this for those into the private-press US basement hippie psych navel-gazer sound. Moreover, you get "(I'm) Chewin' Gum", one for the goddamn ages!”

On the B-side of the 45 is “Roses All Around”, which might well have been recorded by an entirely different group. Such was the Jekyl/Hyde nature of CRÈME SODA. You can find a cool in-the-moment 1974 interview with the band here as well.

Play Creme Soda - "(I'm) Chewin' Gum"

Download CRÈME SODA – “(I’m) Chewin’ Gum” (A-side)
Download CRÈME SODA – “Roses All Around” (B-side)


ONECHORD said...

hi jay,

wow, so many AMAZING posts in few days... don't know where to start!!

but lord, fat tulips were a superb band - twee as fuck! btw, there was a video of them in youtube (like 2-3 years ago) playing "mr. nostalgia" and it was GREAT - shame it was deleted.....

as for two by fours, what can i say? sooooo catchy! "another eight hours" and "little cities" are hits as well. love the tempo and the voice!! should order the record right now...

and wow, uxa!!!! that was my favourite song in the tooth and nail compilation by far!

oh well, no more disturbing.
SO GLAD to know you keep blogging.

best regards,

ONECHORD said...

by the way, as for twee pop: please, don't forget the siddeleys!!!!

ONECHORD said...

sorry, i was so excited i did a mistake. the video it was "mr. so incredible".

ok, enough.