Velvet Blue Music’s main man Jeff Cloud (Pony Express, Joy Electric) sure knows how to pick ‘em. Case in point: California, the debut EP from The Lassie Foundation. Made up of Wayne Everett and Eric Campuzano, former members of The Prayer Chain and current members of Starflyer 59, the Lassie Foundation is a band to keep an eye on.
With names like The Prayer Chain and Starflyer 59, it seems like Everett and Campuzano would have some pretty big shadows to live in. However, this duo decides to step into some even bigger shadows; those of bands like My Blood Valentine, The Beach Boys, and The Boo Radleys. On first listen, the influence of shoegazers like MBV, the Boos, and Swervedriver are very apparent. “Walking Spinning Back Free” could have been written by Kevin Shields, when MBV was actually putting out music. However, under the veneer of noise, feedback, and Jesus and Mary Chain-esque fuzz lies pure pop talent. That’s why I liken the Lassie Foundation to bands such as The Boo Radleys, who combine Beatle-esque harmony with noise.
“I’m Stealin’ To Be Your One In A Million” features one catchy chorus. The first time I heard it, I was humming it for hours. And they back it up with good solid, yet sappy. “Laid With Cool” has more of that beautiful noise, but matched with Beach Boys vocal harmonies. Sure the album smacks of very noticeable influences, but at least they picked good ones.
Okay, okay. I know I’ve probably taken some liberties with this review, plus thrown in more than my share of camparisons. Simply put, this album reaffirms all that’s good and golden with pop music. Buy it.