The Expolorers Club address and hint at their influences before you even crack the vinyl wrapping (or, if you prefer, CD wrapping); their album art screams The Beach Boys. Sure enough, opening track “Forever” is suited for the relation. Describing the group to a friend shortly after picking up the album, I noted that Freedom Wind is the album The Beach Boys would have released after Smile had they not disbanded during that album’s recording.
Even tunes that break the mold of this influence, like “Honey I don’t Know Why”, feature Beach Boys-like harmonies. Poppy guitars and keys ring true to the late 60s and early 70s. Percussion even draws reference to the era in songs like “Summer Air”, a pleasant ballad. Harmonies in the vocals are often tonal, often chiming in as single words at the end of a lyrical phrase or repeated in harmony after being belted from the lead.
The Explorers Club leave behind the beaches but keep the sexual pleasantries of true romance in tunes like single “Do You Love Me”—the song’s verses ring of “California Girls”—and b-side high point “Hold Me Tight”. Being a fan of The Beach Boys, especially of their less beachy more romantic songs, The Explorer’s Club is the perfect album for pop-filled sunny day. And today is exactly that sort of day.
This review was originally published July 1, 2008 on the old version of FensePost.
The Explorers Club: Do You Love Me? [mp3]
[audio:090222_the_explorers_club_-_do_you_love_me.mp3|titles=Do You Love Me|artists=The Explorers Club]
Dead Oceans [12″ LP, 2008]
2. Honey I Don’t Know Why
3. Don’t Forget The Sun
4. Lost My Head
5. Do You Love Me?
6. Summer Air
7. If You Go
8. In The Country
9. Safe Distance
10. Hold Me Tight
11. Last Kiss
12. Freedom Wind