Liquid Mike Plays Pitch-Perfect Power Pop on Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot

Liquid Mike – Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot

Hello, world! Meet Mike Maple, AKA Liquid Mike, AKA the latest in a long line of songwriters with a preternatural gift for capturing exactly how it feels to realize you’re spinning your wheels and no one’s coming along to give you a push. On Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot—his fourth album in 30 months—Maple makes no effort to hide his small-town ennui, recalling the good ol’ days of smoking weed and playing the choking game before snapping back to his current reality: “A dog and a house / Is this what it’s all about?” he asks during the extra crunchy “Mouse Trap.” Later, on “USPS,” he chides himself, singing, “You always go from nowhere to nowhere” against a churning, Green Day-ish riff. 

Maple lives in Marquette, Michigan, but if he does want to go somewhere else, he has a path forward in his punchy, pitch-perfect power pop, which spills over with the same kind of hard-edged, high-quality hooks as forebears like Weezer, Joyce Manor, Foo Fighters, and fellow Midwestern melody monsters Guided By Voices. Indeed, several tunes on Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot bring heavy “Game of Pricks” vibes—the ultimate compliment in this particular corner of the musical universe. GRADE: A-

You can check out Paul Bunyan’s Slingshot at Bandcamp and elsewhere.  


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