Watermelon Men – Past, Present and Future
What Goes On, 1985
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
I think I might have heard these guys on little hits. I'm pretty sure that's it, because the sheer quality of this record means that it wasn't something I randomly grabbed. I sometimes have tough luck in that department. That and I think they were on the Children of Nuggets compilation. The singer has a really awesome croon going on most of the time, particularly on “Hungarian Heart,” which is loaded with sweeping strings and has an epic quality. It sounds great. This whole record sounds great, actually, and doesn't fall into any of the trappings that makes a lot of 80s music sound dated. That song is kind of an oddball on this record though, because it's mostly super jangly and chock full of wonderful pop hooks. There's a Paisley Underground vibe to it, but also a kiwi-pop vibe too, which makes me wonder if Sweden is just really isolated and that Watermelon Men were just picking up on some sort of collective unconscious. It's great, psychedelic-notes run throughout (“You Should Be Mine” recalls “You're Gonna Miss Me” by 13th Floor Elevators), but there are also bitchin' 80s college rock guitar solos and did I mention the outstanding pop hooks (notably on “New Hope for the Lonely” and “Autumn Girl”). It kind of tapers off after side one, but side one is the fucking jam! This is an excellent little find!