The Laureates were kind enough to send me their latest single on Funambulist recording company. I finally got around to giving it a spin this weekend:
This could easily have been recorded a few decades ago in the wall of sound tradition of bands like The Crystals, in fact this opening riff on the first track "I want to miss you' reminds me so much of their track 'Then he kissed me' that it was one of those 'what's the name of that song' moments which, thanks to the internet only lasts a minute.
From there the EP keeps this 60's garage feel, complete with rhythm guitar lines, and chorus changes, and harmonizing. There is heavy reverb/echo on everything, including Chad's vocals, down to the drum kit. I like the distance vocally, placed somewhere in the middle of the mix and sounding a bit like an upbeat Paul Banks from Interpol, that deep, half talking, kind of holding back emotionally, saving it up to lay it on if and when it's called for.
It's not far from early Rolling Stones, or the Kinks, like 'Mother's little helper' when the distortion was novel and incorporated into little pop jems. The guitar on 'Hello, Hello' really reminded me specifically of 'Can't get no satisfaction' that up the scale chord and even blues-ish influenced riffs.
This recording lends itself perfectly to the seven inch format, I'm a huge fan of mini EP's like this where you can really get a feeling for the band. How they fit these 4 tracks on a single I still don't understand, they don't feel short, this is like one of those unearthed gems that collectors drool over finding a copy, a misplaced garage band like the Zombies that is mentioned repeatedly as influencing all kinds of people to pick up a guitar. It's stripped down, I'd believe it if you told me it was recorded fairly live in the studio. It's just successful rock period.
They reference the spectrum from The Jam and Spoon as independent contemporaries and I can hear that, the structures, the songwriting, and honest rock sound, no gimmicks. Witching Boots starts out with bass line which is joined by a fuzz guitar single string melody and another layer of guitar comes in over that. I like this two rhythm guitar sound, they're always working together. They never drown each other, they're both necessary. There isn't a lead, both working towards the same end, that arm windmill energy. Chad's vocals are echoed and in traditional wall of sound style, all the sounds bleeding into each other. There's a lot of capable harmonizing on all tracks, which at first I don't even think I noticed right away.
This single is an impressive first EP in this balanced, timeless sound. A modern take on the infancy of straight ahead rock and roll.
It's great that this is available for free on laureates.com, but do your best to track it down and buy the 7" at Permanent Records, Laurie's Planet of Sound, or Reckless Records. [BUY ONLINE]
There's still a little time to enter the Drones giveaway before I pick a winner...(by the next post) so get in there and email me.