STRUCK LAST MAY is Michael Knott and Rick McDonough. In 2007 they released 16 FLOWERS (Hill deg Maria Records). Rick calls it “a quirky, fun, experimental project”. It is a decidedly mainstream album, so don’t look for Gospel truths here. The liner notes say: “The record 16 Flowers, is a journey loosely based upon a fictional couple who encounter emotional peaks and valleys as they experience each other, as well as the world around them”.
An eerie instrumental piece ‘Over Oceans’ starts things off. It is followed by ‘Fraidy Cat’ a funky rock song that includes these lyrics: “She’s a good girl when she does what I ask her to/She’s a bad girl when she wants what I ask her to/Little dog/Big dog/Confused puppy”. ‘Bundle Up’ is delivered with passion: “Hold my hands, kiss these lips/Friendship’s never felt like this/You’re the girl for me/You’re the one I know will/Rip my ribs out of my chest/See my bloody heart confess/You’re never gonna kill me”.
‘Pollen’ is a silly song: “Nectar/I’m a flower/She’s a flower/Buzzy bees”. You’d think the duo was high on this one! ‘Impossible’ is an acoustic track of reflection: “Thought I’d see you in the summer/Found out I’d find you in the winter/It’s never that cold in Southern California/It’s never that cold in Laguna Beach.../Lookin’ for, lookin’ for/True love, true love/Impossible”. ‘Recovery’ includes these playful remarks: “You say I’m a silly goose/I say you are beautiful”.
‘Sunshine Beach’ has a cheerful rock feel to it musically. A couple of the lines are: “I haven’t seen her smile lately/Live forever on Sunshine Beach”. ‘Footing’ is a short song with a darker feel to it: “I need footing/Can you find me?/I’m willing”. ‘Like Milk’ is a song of infatuation: “Her skin is like milk/Her love is like this/She tastes like cocoa, cocoa, cocoa/Butter”.
‘You Are Me’ includes these instructions: “Straighten my legs/Straighten my hands down/Leaped about five feet off the ground/Start movin’ forward/Don’t pass out/It’s as real as the sky I see”. ‘With Wrong Words’ is a sleepy song. ‘Go Kart Ragazza’ is a fun song: “She took home 3 Aztec trophies 1961/Yeah/ Racing in a Bug Scorpion”. Brenda Clark lends her vocal talents to the song.
‘Fireworks’ is a neat, percussion heavy, industrial instrumental that reminds me of Passafist. The title track ’16 Flowers’ is acoustic and finds a lover trying to save their partner from possible suicide.
Overall, I would classify this album as experimental light rock music. On it you can even hear the vocalists buzzing like bees and barking like dogs! There are a lot of distorted sounds used to good effect. Fans of the more experimental works of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Michael Knott, and Michael Roe, should give this album a listen. Lyrically the album is greatly open to interpretation by the listener. There is no one meaning for any of the songs. Those who prefer message music should steer clear of this one. I’m rating 16 FLOWERS 80%. For more info visit: www.hailmarystudios.com and www.strucklastmay.bandcamp.com.