The Lassie Foundation

California

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The Lassie Foundation's first EP, California, imports the cold and atmospheric textures of shoegazing to the sunny West Coast. Tracks like "I Can Be Her Man" and "Laid With Cool" are built on wall-to-wall overdriven guitars run through a myriad of effects pedals, and topped off with Wayne Everett's blindingly sunny falsetto vocals, and lots of group harmonies. The easy line is that the band are the Beach Boys filtered through My Bloody Valentine, an easy line, but very true. On this EP, maybe more Ride than MBV, as the sound is more earthbound than it would become on later releases, more interested in harsh noise than in blissfully shooting into space, as on the repetitive and ugly "Walking Spinning Backing Free," and the dynamic "Save Yourself and Watch You Win." Still, the record is a vital document of the early development of the band. The Lassie Foundation are unsung by the indie rock masses, but that doesn't mean they should remain a secret to you. You should buy everything you see by them. They are that good. (Both "I Can Be Her Man," and the dreamy "I'm Stealin' To Be Her One in a Million" show up in different mixes on the band's next EP El Ray).

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