artworks-000051877334-fjwnfk-cropThe only duo you need to be concerned with in 2012 is Hank And Cupcakes. If you need proof, look no further than their debut full-length NAKED out on June 1st. You’ve got your new wave, you’ve got your soul, you’ve got your pop…you’ve got just about everything that’s right with music on NAKED.

Following their brilliant debut EP, NAKED is Hank And Cupcakes at their strongest. First single “Liquid Mercury” barely scratched the surface of what’s inside when you get NAKED (See what I did there?). The range of both parties involved is astonishing. Hank’s sonic bass grooves sound different on each and every song while Cupcakes switches from a beat poet flow on one track to an angelic swoon on the next (Or sometimes in the same song in the case of “Fly”).

If you’re not sold the minute Cupcakes opens up “Born Again”, then you might need to see a doctor. The forty minutes that follow are awe inspiring and prove why Hank And Cupcakes deserve all the accolades they’ve been receiving. No two songs sound alike yet the continuity on NAKED is completely organic. There’s the Pop of the already mentioned “Liquid Mercury” one moment followed by a throwback to the ’80’s in the form of “See Through” (Featuring a synth line that sounds like Duran Duran’s “Save A Prayer” on speed) the next chased by the dancefloor disco of “Jersey Girl”.

For fans of the original EP, “Ain’t No Love” and “Pleasure Town” make encore appearances albeit in revamped forms. “Pleasure Town” especially is even more potent thanks to the trippy lead in “Pleasure Is A Drug” while “Ain’t No Love” gets an update AND a remix featuring Kalae All Day to round out the album.

Is this the best debut of 2012? Quite possibly. At the very least, it’s the definitive album of the summer. NAKED has all the makings of a perfect album thanks to the solid songwriting and memorable hooks within. Don’t miss out on a band that everyone will be talking about before you know it.

NAKED is out on June 1st. Head on over to Hank And Cupcakes official site to get yours.

Grade: A



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