It would be easy to dismiss the six-piece Charleston, South Carolina-based the Explorers Club as a 21st century Beach Boys clone except the band is just so darn good at channeling that vintage California sound that they somehow end up sounding refreshing and vital because of it. Led by singer, songwriter, arranger, guitarist, and pianist Jason Brewer, the band also includes James Faust on guitar, piano, and harmonica, Wally Reddington on bass, Dave Ellis on 12-string guitar and accordion and Neil Thomas on drums, with Faust, Reddington and Ellis supplying gorgeous harmonies to Brewer's lead vocals. Unabashed in their mission to carry Brian Wilson's musical vision forward, the Explorers Club evoke the classic mid- to late-'60s vocal sound that made the Beach Boys one of the most admired and influential bands of that decade, and if that makes the band a bit of a one-trick pony, well, it's one hell of a trick. The group released a four-song EP, The Explorers Club, in 2006, three tracks of which ended up on their debut full-length album, Freedom Wind, released in 2008 on Dead Oceans Records. The band returned in late 2011 with a series of Amazon-exclusive EPs titled The Californian Suite, The Carolinian Suite, and The New Yorker Suite, each of which included a couple works in progress and a cover ("Walk On By," "Stormy," and "Hitchin' a Ride" respectively). The group's second album, Grand Hotel, was mixed by Mark Linnett (who has worked on many Beach Boys reissues) and was released by Rock Ridge Music in February of 2012. ~ Steve LeggettPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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