For a band that deems themselves The Explorers Club, these shaggy purveyors of fun in the sun don’t exactly chart the newest of territories. Their’s is a slightly obsessive, vintage sound; the kind which flickers immediate, weather beaten slides of sixties surf culture upon the mind’s eye. So much so, in fact, that one band and one band only comes to mind over the course of these South Carolina natives’ Dead Oceans debut, Freedom Wind. Brian Wilson would be proud. That or he’d feel entirely ripped off actually.
Not that it even matters. Unlike other artists that play dumb the moment comparisons are drawn, I can only imagine The Explorers Club know who they are, and where their sound was born. Even before the hollow kick and snare brings opener “Forever” to life - booming hits themselves that reminiscence of the Beach Boys’ “I’m Waiting for the Day” - the band suggests their homage to the most popular of surf bands is entirely intentional. Dressed up to resemble a broken in vinyl sleeve, Freedom Wind’s cover is a blatant, square by square recreation of All Summer Long’s action packed artwork.
But like I said, none of this actually matters. Like The Thrills’ So Much For The City, none of these dead ringing resemblances cheapen this perfectly timed release. The weather is (supposedly) getting warm, and Freedom Wind – chock full of whispy, turn back the clock melodies, luscious four part harmonies, and lyrics that bundle innocent, teenage wonder and possibility up into tidy, two to three minute packages - ought to be one of your summer’s more reliable mood setters. – David Pitz