Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Living on the Other Side

Posted on Wed, Sep 10, 2008 at 4:00 AM

Living on the Other Side
Composer: The Donkeys
Label: Dead Oceans
Release Date: 2008-09-10
Rated: NONE
Media: CD
Length: LP
Format: Album
Genre: Surf

The sophomore release from this Southern California-based four-piece is a collection of ruminations that explore daily life’s details through traipsing folk guitar and soulful, voluminous melodies. Grounded in the roots of traditional ’60s and ’70s rock, those familiar but sometimes heartbreaking moments are amplified by the wistful thinking laid upon a classic beach-at-sunset backdrop. Plucky opener “Gone Gone Gone” teems with longing and reflection, while “Walk Through A Cloud” reverberates with summery harmonies, layering sadness over warm melodies; and the graceful piano opening of “Dolphin Center” is forgiving both lyrically and sonically. The surfy pop opening of “Bye Bye Baby” has an endearing country twang that balances nicely with the spectral intro in “Nice Train.” In keeping with their SoCal rock roots, the Donkeys have melded some high points from Buffalo Springfield and the Eagles, but Living On The Other Side stretches past those boundaries. Album closer “Excelsior Lady” would even flatter Levon Helm.

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