The 1960s were such an explosively original decade in music that countless bands just keep riffing off its influences. Hey, that’s OK if you want to be a bar band cover outfit, but with bands pushing original music it can sound more than a little derivative. The trick is to take your cherished influences and meld them into something new. Today’s bands all manage to signal where their debts lie while cashing out with something more original than just homage. Perth, Australia’s The High Learys walk the finest line on their earlier material with the catchy “Clear My Mind” mining organ riffs that sound like they were lifted directly from records by the Zombies or the Animals. But just one year later the band has transformed those influences into a more original, sixties-influenced indie sound on “Cabinet,” with its fabulous fuzzed out guitars and swirling organ. Roanoke, Virginia’s The Young Sinclairs acknowledge their love of sixties poprock but refuse to live in the past, as is apparent on the single “Girl, I’m for Real,” which effortlessly blends Bryds and REM influences into a new mix. Austin, Texas’ Whalers roll out a killer sixties guitar lick on “Cheat on Each Other” that has the hook and timbre of the original era but the vocals are pure 1990s.
Thanks to Powerpopulist for today’s suggestions. Bands love fan mail so send yours to The High Learys, The Young Sinclairs and Whalers via the web.