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Wonderlick



Once upon a time there was a goofy 'n' noisy indie rock group by the name of Too Much Joy which developed quite a following among those who liked robust hooks combined with glib humor. But after five albums, the band's members decided to call it a day, grow up, and get real jobs. Still, members Tim Quirk and Jay Blumenfield felt the itch, so a few years later they started recording together again as Wonderlick. Almost as an afterthought, they decided to offer their songs as mp3s on the Susquehanna Hat Company website they'd set up to sell Too Much Joy merchandise, adding a tip jar for those who enjoyed the music and cared to offer a donation. Much to their surprise the contributions came rolling in, so they made a habit of recording and posting a new track each month. Pretty soon, San Francisco-based Future Farmer Recordings came a-knockin', asking the duo to record new versions of these songs for a full-length album.

The result was Wonderlick's self-titled debut LP, released in early 2002. Given these two fellas' previous work, it should come as no surprise that Wonderlick's music is catchy, glib, and pretty offbeat. At root, it's simple playful guitar pop, but it's just got more personality than you can shake a stick at. There are oodles of idiosyncratic electronic adornments, ranging from Vocoded vocals to squelchy sorta techno beats. The duo often splices disparate elements together into the same song with little regard for conventional song structures or arrangements (it's still catchy though!) But while anyone who remembers Too Much Joy will instantly recognize the Quirk's unique style of man-child crooning, his lyrics only hint at the jokester of old, instead often wrestling with grown-up subjects more befitting his age such as love and family.

The duo says that the process of distributing the songs for free helped them rediscover the joy of making music for its own sake. They plan to take the same approach in recording future Wonderlick albums.

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