Artist: Explorers Club
Release Date: 06/24/2016
While most of us are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys’ epic album Pet Sounds, one group of musicians is simply doing what they’ve done since their inception, that is, to celebrate the entire legacy of the band itself. The Explorers Club make no bones about the fact that they’re diehard devotees, effectively emulating the soaring harmonies, winsome melodies, idyllic innocence and the whole of the sun and fun pastiche that originally made the Beach Boys such a ground-breaking ensemble so early on. Consequently, it’s little surprise to find that the cover of Together, the Explorers Club’s latest, is an exact facsimile of the archetypal Beach Boys album Friends, and that the music that resides within is such a dead-on replica of Brian Wilson and company in their prime, it would be extremely difficult to discern the difference during a blindfold test.
A sample listen to songs such as “Be Around,” “Quietly,” “My Friend,” and “Perfect Day” confirms all suspicions that the Explorers Club tends to lean more towards imitation than mere emulation. One doesn’t even need to go that far; a song named “California’s Callin‘ Ya” puts all doubts to rest. They even called their record label Goldstar, the name of the recording studio where Brian Wilson and company recorded all their early opuses. Coincidentally Darian Sahanaja, Nelson Bragg and Probyn Gregory, all members of Brian’s backing band, lend their efforts here. It’s best to forgive the obvious steals however. Simply reflect on the golden haze illuminated by a West Coast sunset beckoned, before tragedy and strife tore the Beach Boys asunder. Surf’s back up, at least for now.
– Lee Zimmerman