Reviewed by Matt Dentler, Fri., June 17, 2005
Sick Yellow Flower
If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. That seems to be the adage San Antonio's Buttercup uses to compose its clever indie pop. Instead of saying it, they hum it. They infuse vocal harmonies, lots of "la's," and let the music do the talking on 12 dynamic tracks. For debut LP Sick Yellow Flower, the quartet saves their lyrics for when they need them; most of the time, the bounce of songs like "Epithalamium" rolls along a choral texture. There's no better example than showstopper "John Glenn," which uses about seven lines in seven minutes to make a lasting impression. "Zero G and I feel fine," Erik Sanden insists over and over, the song launching into fits and starts of electric guitar and ambient vocals. It would be easy to call a band like Buttercup "minimalist," but the songs (such as "Downslide" and "Parallax View") are so much richer than that. Yummy.