Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: The Well Wishers “Dreaming of the West Coast”

Throughout the 90s and into the early 2000s, the Spinning Jennies emerged as a popular Bay Area band fronted by Jeff Shelton. In 2003, Shelton assembled a new band to carry the powerpop torch called The Well Wishers. The band has been doing very well – even getting music featured on major network television shows such as “In The Motherhood” and “Parenthood”. “Dreaming of the West Coast” marks their sixth full-length record, which Shelton states is “the band’s most lavish and full-bodied production to date”.

I would describe the sound of The Well Wishers as early Posies covering songs written by Bob Mould. The record is a wonderfully consistent listen from beginning to end, brimming with crunchy riffs and sticky melodies. Among the highlights I would count the jangle pop rocker “Escape The Light” (a pronounced 80s R.E.M. feel on this one), the Cheap Trick-styled “Allison”, and the arena rock stomp of “Tonight”. My favorite in the bunch is “Here Comes Love”, which is textbook powerpop perfection. Also be sure to check out the quirky but fun “Have Some More Tea” – it is actually a cover tune originally recorded in 1967 by the underground UK mod-pop trio called The Smoke. Props to Shelton for mining the archives to dust off this gem! And somebody tell me if “Truth Is Coming Home” doesn’t sound like it belongs on “Dear 23” by The Posies. To put it in a nutshell, “Dreaming of the West Coast” is one of the first “must have” powerpop releases of 2012.

The Well Wishers – Official site.

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