Let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room, so as to not resort to using it as a crutch any further: The Explorers Club sound like The Beach Boys.
On Freedom Wind, the Charleston, SC band has painstakingly patterned themselves after the California giants, right down to their summer aesthetic and their reverb-soaked drums and harmonies. It would be foolish not to draw parallels between the bands, simply because of how proudly the young sextet wears their influences on their sleeves. Compared to other groups taking recent forays into the past and trying too hard in the process (Panic At The Disco's new Pretty.Odd. blatantly bows at the altar of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, for example), Freedom Wind sounds effortless. It stands as a winning tribute -- and a worthy adversary -- to a seminal work like Pet Sounds. If that sounds blasphemous, don't let it. The Explorers Club pulls it off.
While you wait for the full review coming soon, hear for yourself at the band's Myspace, where the single "Do You Love Me" and album cut "Last Kiss" are both streaming. Freedom Wind is out 5/20 via Dead Oceans.