Let me tell you, this Elephant 6 sickness is a terrible affliction. You find yourself inexplicably drawn to anything bearing an E6 logo -- and believe me,
there are plenty of albums out there emblazoned with that little logo. The downside of this affliction is that you'll rapidly stretch your financial resources to
the max, and will need to begin utilizing the Earthís renewable natural resources for funds. The upside is that you will have many, many hours (not to mention dollars) worth of listening enjoyment.
A case in point is the self-titled debut album from Athensí own Great Lakes. Great Lakes is not a mere side-project, but a separate and self-sufficient entity consisting of Jamey Huggins from Of Montreal, Dan Donahue and Ben Crum, rounded out by a revolving cast of your
favorite E6 stars. Rather than coming across like a rag-tag bunch of throwaway tunes penned by several musical schizophrenics, Great Lakes is a wonderfully cohesive slab of intricately textured pop music.
The group's 70s influences become apparent almost immediately on the sumptuous opener
"Storming"; you will undoubtedly picture the band on stage in matching sky blue jumpers, their names written across their backs in gold lamé. This retro-minded
attack is far from over. "Storming" is followed by the swooning piano and gentle back-beat of "A Little Touched," the warbling orchestration and piping horns of "An Easy
Life" and the Vaudevillian grandeur and banjo picking of "Come Home and Come True".
Though their music is steeped in the majesty of the
Polyester Decade, the Great Lakes are nothing if not a formidable retro-futurist pop unit. Employing the production services of big poppa pachyderm Robert
Schneider, the album simultaneously showcases the bandís modern style and pays direct homage to their 70s orchestral pop roots.
Great Lakes is another reason why it pays to recycle -- whether we're talking musical elements from days long past, or cans and bottles that you save in order to earn enough money to pay for this album.