Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Gurus - The Gurus - 2004

Within just the first few tracks, the Gurus -- singing entirely in English, despite their Barcelona origins -- leave no doubt that they're skilled appropriators of influences from major '60s icons. "Big Sea" has a guitar sound reminiscent of the kind of wobbling distortion Pete Townshend made on early Who songs like "The Good's Gone"; "Kamala, Pt. 2" and "Silver Rain" are very much in the school of '60s Byrds ringing guitar and harmonies; "Let's Have a Change" has the quirky bounce of the mildly psychedelicized pop of the Kinks and the Easybeats; and "My Beautiful Home" is Paul McCartney-esque, with shades of early-'70s mellow California rock vocal harmonies. It's well done, and the palette has more colors than many such bands employ, but it's only okay. The songs are derivative -- which, given how many records of this kind have appeared, might be considered a strong recommendation by the niche audience who follows these kind of bands -- and, more importantly, not memorably strong, despite some catchy hooks in tunes like "Purple Blue," where the Merseybeat influence is prominent, and "Sleeping Girl," which is reminiscent of some of the early-1965 Beatles. It's very well recorded and played, yes, and for those who love power pop that pushes the right buttons, that might be enough. -AMG



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