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The Kiss

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Album Review

Little known fact: Tony Carbone has the ability to turn everything he touches into chocolate. Another little known fact: when he's not turning things into chocolate, Carbone composes intricate, literate pop songs as the masthead of Bikeride. Now, it's understandable that nobody knows about, let alone believes, the tales of Carbone's Midas-like abilities. But the general public's outright ignorance of his ambitious and lovely Phil Spector-influenced power pop is practically criminal. At any rate, after five years of relative quiet following Morning Macumba (which, at the time of its arrival, was more or less given a group hug by every critic within earshot), Bikeride returned in 2007 with their fifth full-length, The Kiss. Like everything Carbone touches, and like every Bikeride album that came before it, this album is delicious. Like Morning Macumba, late-'60s pop figures big here. "There's Something Odd About Elizabeth" swells like a tie-dyed hot air balloon, what with its tight-knit Beach Boys harmonies and Theremin wails, and "Your Lips and You" (one of the album's finest tracks) teems with strings reminiscent of "Eleanor Rigby." Not that The Kiss is psychedelic through and through. "Podiaphobia" marches confidently into epic arena rock mingled with prog (think "Stairway to Heaven" remixed by ELO and performed by Queen), and "A Dancer's Feet Are Not So Neat" swings along with early-'70s country-rock grit. You'd think all this genre-bending would get tiresome, but Bikeride manage to pull it off without a hitch. Maybe it's because they're from California, and like so many California bands (Beulah, the Beach Boys, etc.) they're just gifted with a magic touch that turns every song they play into delectable pop candy. Maybe it's because Carbone's really good at writing songs. Maybe it's just because there's a Mellotron involved, and everyone knows you can't go wrong with a Mellotron. Whatever the case may be, The Kiss is yet another reason why folks should wake up, smell the chocolate, and start listening to Bikeride.

Customer Reviews


Yet another band that will not get the recognition they deserve. Led by Tony Carbone, a Californian touch of sunshine and pop to gladden the heart. Heard by chance 'Your Lips and You' and was hooked from the first mellotron notes. It is so different yet so familiar. Every track is individual and the album never gets boring or samey. Listen to 'Podiaphobia'; 'Destinitis' and 'The Statue Thief' and you'll be converted I guarantee. Just superb stuff. Definitely a top 10 album of 2007. Only one complaint - what the f... is all this (Blank) business about?? And believe me they really are blank...nothing there!! Not the first album they've done it on either......Anyway listen and enjoy.


Formed: 1997 in Chapel Hill, NC

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Indie song sculptor Tony Carbone began releasing his Beach Boys/Burt Bacharach-styled West Coast pop tunes under the name Bikeride in 1997. The band's schizophrenic take on nearly every popular musical style from Beatlesque light psychedelia to the Pixies' alt-rock pioneering (not to mention bossa nova, jazz, and new wave mod) caught the attention of indie label Hidden Agenda. Along with a number of indie vinyl releases, Carbone and his on-again, off-again Bikeride contributors have released 1997's...
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The Kiss, Bikeride
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