Review: Jack Foley
CALIFORNIA'S sun-drenched sound is given a darker spin by Earlimart,
a hip three-piece whose new album, Everyone Down Here,
should certainly be generating a lot more buzz than it currently
seems to be.
Co-produced by Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, the album bears a lot
of the hallmarks of the Grandaddy sound - folk-inspired indie-rock
- while fusing a grittier, more rock-based edge that could easily
find a place in the songwriting book of, say, The Dandy Warhols
or The Jesus & Mary Chain.
All of which makes the album well worth checking out for anyone
who is a fan of any of those bands.
Opening with the weaving, slightly distorted guitar sound of
We're So Happy (We Left The Piano in the Truck), which
provides an excellent introduction, the album then proceeds to
deliver a rich musical journey through various mood swings - from
fiery post-punk to beguiling folk-based melodies.
We're So Happy, in particular, evokes memories of early
Dandy Warhols - with Aaron Espinoza's soft, almost drug-hazed
vocals expertly backed up by Ariana Murray's sweet sound, and
some gentle keyboards breaking up those distorted guitars and
lazy drum loops.
If you haven't fallen in love with this track by the second listen,
then this probably isn't the record for you.
Second track, We Drink On The Job, is where the Jesus
and Mary Chain sound really kicks in, particularly in the guitar
sound. It marks Earlimart at their most poppy and could easily
become a single.
The Movies, track three, marks the quieter, more pensive
sound of the band, which is probably more to the fore in the latter
part of the album.
It is here that Espinoza's soft vocal style reaches its most
plaintive, making lines such as 'it was gone and that was that'
sound especially haunting and thought-provoking.
The angry Lost at Sea provides a short, sharp adrenalin
rush which passes all too quickly (but which provides an insight
into the band's indie-rock roots), while former single, Burning
The Cow, is another of those upbeat, poppy numbers in which
the Grandaddy sound re-emerges.
If the album tends to drift into a more lowkey finale, with quieter
tracks such as Hospital and Night Nite, then this
is no bad thing, making it a perfect listen for a long, hot Summer
For the melancholic pop songs provide a nice foil for the fuzzy
guitars and rock out moments that came earlier. In short, this
is a rich collection of songs from another of California's emerging
bands of the moment.
Don't let the Earlimart sound pass you by - and be sure to catch
them on the UK tour (details of which can be accessed via the
link at the top of this page).
1. We're So Happy (We Left The Piano In The Truck)
2. We Drink On The Job
3. The Movies
4. Lost At Sea
6. Burning The Cow
8. Lazy Feet 23
9. Big Ol' Black
10. Dreaming Of...
12. Night, Nite