Review: The Explorer's Club's "Freedom Wind"

There is some music that is just not un-likeable. The Explorer’s Club “Freedom Wind” is just that. The sixpiece group (four of whom pitch in with vocals) out of Charleston, S.C. re-invent the Beach Boys in such a classy, respectful way that I am more inclined to think that these guys grew up on Huntington Beach instead of the east coast. Jason (guitar, piano, vocals), James (ditto to Jason), Dave (accordion, guitar, mandolin, vocals), Neil (drums), Stefan (organ, keys, piano), and Wally (bass and vocals) piece together an album that is the kind of psychadelic, beachy-pop, impeccably harmonized music that makes it difficult to not sway your body to. The vocal-harmonizing is just sick—Jason, James, Dave, and Wally blend their voices together in a way that has been lost since the Beach Boys left the music scene.

Of course, if you’re looking for some deep philosophical, political, or ideological lyrics you’re going to be disappointed here. Following the footsteps of their predecessors, The Explorer’s Club sing about love…the kind of love you have during summer break in college that have elements of romance, and maybe even some heart-felt emotion, but you have this inkling that this is purely a summer thing. “Freedom Wind” will most certainly become a summer classic…just like the Boys did for their generation.

There’s a serious hazard in writing about music. There’s a reason why there is music and there is prose…they perform different functions and do different things for the readers/listeners. This is one of those instances where I really don’t want to write about an album because, well, you just have to experience it…maybe with a convertible on a winding country road where you’re completely lost, and gladly so.

-Christopher Green