Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag US - Georgia - Full Moon 76 - 12/19/02

Great Lakes
The Distance Between
Orange Twin (US)/Track & Field (UK)

I'm stupid. Schtooopid! Not going to the Great Lakes gig here in Oslo some weeks ago. Why, why, why? I simply haven't got an answer good enough. Anyway, their latest album can be of great comfort. The distance between? Between me now playing this record and to my next act of stupidity? Uh-oh, this LP is quite short...

Great Lakes are most of all the troika of Dan Donahue (now based in San Francisco), Ben Crum (located in N.Y.), and Jamey Huggins (still living in Athens). Even though they have a 'distance between' each other they manage to, uh, 'pop out' good pop material quite well. But Great Lakes are also a 9-piece (at least) counting some of the 'usual suspects' from the Elephant6 ring: Derek Almstead, Dottie Alexander, Heather McIntosh, Kevin Barnes, Scott Spillane, and Bryan Poole. Great Lakes put out their self-titled debut two years back. A 60s style pop-bliss hard to dislike. And now...rock? No, it's only in the beginning, with "Sister City", they tend to rock a bit harder than before. Also the closing "Conquistadors" is sort of rough and, after a while, wild-running. However, their musical blend still come from picking the best from the late 60s pop/rock plates. Inbetween their concise melodies there are some pieces more free-floating, but not more than they manage to keep control. Even though the album is only some 30 minutes of length it feels extremely varied and multicolored. Which must be quite a clear signal of a balanced collection of songs within fitting surroundings. My fave songs are the slow starting, countryish then crescendo-decrescendo-ing "Ever So Over", the pop pearl "Now Is When" (part Beatlesque, part Rutlesque...), the slightly Byrdsish "Morning Of My Life".

Not as good as their debut, but an album worth spinning some times. To explore some new sides. Maybe a new lake.

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