The Explorers Club Channels the ’60s/’70s on 2 New Albums

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Jason Brewer

The Explorers Club, led by singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist Jason Brewer, hasn’t exactly been prolific: until last month, they’d issued only three full-length albums since 2008. So it’s a bit of a surprise that the group—whose only original member is now Brewer—simultaneously released two CDs in June. An eponymous disc contains a dozen numbers, all written by Brewer with assorted collaborators, that sound redolent of the late ’60s/early ’70s AM radio pop/rock hits that the Explorers Club clearly admires. (Many, in fact, seem so reminiscent of those tunes that you might feel as if you’ve heard them somewhere before.)

Listen to “Ruby,” a track from the eponymous album

The other disc pays a more direct tribute to their influences with covers of 10 songs from that era.

Expert production, addictive hooks and amiable musicianship and vocalizing characterize both albums, but especially likable is the covers collection, which finds the band freshening up such well-chosen numbers as the Turtles’ “She’d Rather Be with Me”; Paul Revere and the Raiders’ “Kicks”; the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Didn’t Want to Have to Do It”; Manfred Mann’s Bob Dylan hit, “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)”; the Walker Brothers’ “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore”; and “Maybe After He’s Gone,” a track culled from the Zombies’ acclaimed Odessey and Oracle, on which Brewer channels that group’s Colin Blunstone.

Listen to the Explorers Club’s version of Dylan’s “The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)”

Related: Read our interview with the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent

Some of the source material here—such as Herb Alpert’s Bacharach and David hit, “This Guy’s in Love with You” and Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart’s bubblegum smash, “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight”—might be considered guilty pleasures or downright uncool. But the Explorers Club, who deliver this music without a hint of condescension or parody, clearly appreciate it. Particularly after hearing their versions, you’ll likely understand why.

Watch: Check out the trailer for the two albums

Jeff Burger

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  1. JWIB
    #1 JWIB 16 July, 2020, 15:28

    These are outstanding albums. Do yourself a favor and pick them up, you won’t be disappointed

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