Sunday, September 14, 2008

Explorers Club, Freedom Wind

As should be evident, I've been in something of a retro mood of late. And another one of my fave purchases is Explorers Club's 2007 debut, Freedom Wind. Like a lot of bands, these guys (from South Carolina, rather than Southern California) drink heavily from the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys well (see also, e.g., Linus of Hollywood, High Llamas, Heavy Blinkers, Wondermints, etc.). Though, as the cover art alone should illustrate, this is more than just a Wilson-influenced album; it's a total, deliberate rip-off. For all practical purposes, this is a proper Beach Boys album, circa 1968 (hewing a bit more closely to the late 60's, early 70's pastoral sound than strictly to the mid-60's Pet Sounds (or Smile) style favored by most imitators. Slightly updated production values, perhaps, but this is a straight-out BB pastische. Which doesn't mean it isn't good, 'cuz it is. Originality can be highly overrated. For previews, check out their obligatory MySpace page.

Incidentally, should you be interested in buying this (which, if you like any of those afore-referenced bands, you really should), be careful you're getting the right Explorers Club. Apparently there's a current prog supergroup of the same name which, at least according to their album reviews, has recorded what sounds like the most God-awful cd in the history of the universe.

P.S. Here's a (brief) snippet of the band rehearsing (there are a few live tracks to be found on YouTube, but, let's be honest, this is a band best captured in the studio):


At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice post, but I've seen these guys live, and they can bring it! It was really cool to see the members harmonize in the live setting, they did an awesome cover of "Johnny B. Goode" and that dude with the moustache who plays guitar did a back flip at the end of the set.


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