The lethargic and psychedelic rock outfit The Memories serves up a recipe to start a wild night, or to cure a lonely one, with their third album Hot Afternoon. Though it may be taboo to write with hyperbole, Hot Afternoon is a blessing for anyone experiencing the ups and downs of young adulthood.
The band is signed to Burger Records, a small independent record label located in Fullerton, Cali with records as greasy as its name. While a strict word count constricts this review’s ability to break down each track, it will be in the spirit with any great song by the Memories—short and sweet.
No song clocks any longer than three minutes, and they write simple songs with strong hooks. The first track “It Was A Hot Afternoon” sets the tone for the listeners to expect a laid back yet romantic album. With its ‘50s pop-rock, simple-chord songwriting approach, tracks like “Dad’s Not Home” are crowd favorites. They blend familiarity with their hazed vocabulary that is too hard to resist.
“We Can Call It Whatever” is voted Most Likely To Be Stuck In Your Head All Day. Not in the any annoying Taylor Swift sort of way, but in a truly catchy way that your brain won’t turn it off. Like most of their songs, this tune deals with the qualms of being casually infatuated with a girl in East L.A.
Another old-school vibe from the record is “I’m So High.” Rikky Gnar, frontman of the band and legend among Burger Records artists, introduces the other band members in the middle of the song before transitioning into singing the classic number, “867-5309” at the end of the tune (from the 1981 power pop single by the group Tommy Tutone).
The album ends with “Do You,” a song with a softer feel. It sounds like the sun pouring through your bedroom window after a night of falling aimlessly in love with a pretty looking party-goer who doesn’t know your name. The guitar solo in the middle of the song is undeniably similar to George Harrison’s solo in “I’m Happy Just To Dance With You.” There’s also a special fade-out at the end that gives you a little more of something you thought ended too soon.
Hot Afternoon is yet another gift from The Memories. The lyrics and melodies of each track are therapeutic and soothing in their simplicity and honesty.