On the Myspace page of What Laura Says, the Tempe, Arizona band describes their main influence as "cosmic puberty". This description brings to mind a somewhat twisted coming of age exuberance, and one listen to Bloom Cheek, their wonderfully quirky sophomore release, bears this out.
Think Phish meets Crowded House meets Derek and the Dominoes meets Surf’s Up era Beach Boys. Add more than a smattering of their own adventurous style and you get the idea that this is a band to be reckoned with. Their complex power-poppy tunes are both compelling and interesting.
Founding members James Mulhern (guitar, percussion, vocals) and Danny Goldbold (keys, guitars, vocals) founded the band in 2003. After years of playing coffee houses and house parties in the Phoenix area they joined up with the rhythm section of Mitch Freedom, Greg Muller and Jacob Woolsey to form the current incarnation of What Laura Says.
The CD is filled with melodies that are as unpredictable as they are familiar, songs you could swear you’ve heard before but deep down you know you haven’t. These guys wear their influences on their sleeves but they take what those old masters have taught them and weave them into wonderfully lush, melodic songs of their own.
“Rool Some Coin” starts out with an acoustic Pink Floyd-like guitar riff, motoring leisurely into something Roger Waters might have written sitting in Brian Wilson’s sandbox.
A bluesy riff reminiscent of McCartney’s “Bip Bop” opens “Gardners of Wonders”, which morphs into an unexpected boogie-woogie romp.
The gentle acoustic guitar driven “Lambhair” segues into the harder edged “McDaniel”. Perhaps the titles of these songs are in joke of some kind. Lamb/Hair/McDaniel are authors of marketing books.
Like I said, unpredictable.
Much like the more experimental Beatles records, it pays to dig a little deeper where What Laura Says is concerned. In every song there are layers to peel back, where you’ll discover an even greater wealth of gifts. It’s not a difficult task; all you need do is listen.
Bloom Creek will be released June 8th on Terpsikhore Records