Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
I had only warm feelings when I saw the Betti-Cola album cover: a rad Betty and Veronica–style illustration of the band. But would it be as fun as it looked?
Cub are just what that illustration promises: here to jump up and down, here to party with you, here to be the all-around raddest. Lead singer Lisa Marr's voice is just like the candy Cub apparently used to pass out at shows. They're super-funny; the lyrics are little plastic pails of lighthearted joy. On a picnic, a repeated "You bring me carrots and celery/You bring me carrots and cel-e-ry." On a beloved chinchilla: "Satan sucks/But you're the best/Holy smokes/You pass the test." Put that on a mix CD for someone you have a crush on, and they will probably fall right in love with you! Who wouldn't?! (Except, ewwww to pet chinchillas.*)
Cub are like really good jam. Not music jam—fruit jam. All the different parts come together to form a sweet, brightly colored, awesome goo. It's hard to pay attention to any one ingredient, because they're too busy interacting with each other to create a whole thing, and the whole is so delightful.
They're also dark sometimes; they're not just dancing around in hot-pink leotards high-fiving each other all the time. "Leapfrog" starts: "Woke up dead the other morning." (Who hasn't?!) In "A Party," the narrator "went to a party and no one was there/I ate up all the cake and stared at the floor."
This is top-notch sleepover music. I first listened to it late at night with a glass of whiskey; that was the wrong approach. I actually had to put the whiskey down and get up off the couch—Cub call for you to energetically engage with life. Betti-Cola would be a great album for bad-mood days, because while it's sweet and cute and full of jokes, it's not all pep-squad shit. There are lots of breakup songs and laments and weird parties with nobody there and, once, a wax heart stuck full of nails and stuffed in a sack.
Some music just fills you up with bubbles and cheer, like brain champagne. Cub is that music, and you should take some gray January time to electrify your day with this carbonated cotton-candy beach party sound.
I give this a "January beach party! You're invited!" out of 10.
*Hot tip: Chinchillas are cute-looking, but boy, chinchillas are not awesome pets, as far as I'm concerned. As the internet (or any responsible chinchilla owner) will tell you, you have to interact in very weirdo personal ways with chinchilla penises or they get covered in hair. Like, you gotta inspect it all the time and lube it up and stuff. I'm not joking! Once I heard that, I could never forget it. Just say no to a pet like that!