Strange Name, Great Single.
Earth The Californian Love Dream come out with all guns blazing on their new single, 'Blackstuff'. Previous descriptions of them being a cross between The Beach Boys and Motorhead may however be a bit extreme. The Motorhead comparisons do appear justified but as for The Beach Boys, this may just be pushing it. After all, wasn't this the group who presented the image of being America's sun loving boys who sang happy songs about surfing and driving cars? In fact, its hard to imagine the supposedly wholesome Beach Boys writing lyrics like "if you don't stop fucking with me I'll cut you down" - not exactly a line from a Pet Sounds track! 'Blackstuff', like the name suggests, is a pretty dark song. Hammering drums and rampaging guitar riffs have it throbbing full force out of the speakers. A song that demands to be heard at maximum volume, it keeps its finger on the throttle as it pounds brilliantly along. This is the song from which comparisons to Motorhead can be justifiably made. There is an infectious quality about the track as both musically and vocally it pulls you in and proceeds to assault your ears with the type of rock that the late Seventies were renowned for and stadium rock aspires to be. 'Blackstuff' is pure rock pleasure; aggressive, rough and loud - what more could you ask for?
Having accomplished the task of rocking you to within an inch of your life, ETCLD carry on to demonstrate why such bizarre comparisons are made about them. Turning a full 360, ETCLD pull a lyrically beautiful ballad out of the bag in 'You And Me'. Even with such a song as this however The Beach Boys similarity still seems far fetched. 'You and Me' is reminiscent instead of Jeff Buckley and even more so of former front man of The Verve, Richard Ashcroft. There is a gracefulness about the song as it steadily builds up pace, building to its climax. Vocally it even sounds like Ashcroft and at over seven minutes long, it really is magnificent.
ETCLD may have a schizophrenic music stance, going from one musical style to another but it is a skill they do to perfection. Proving that they can do the rough with the smooth, that they can stir emotion whilst blasting your eardrums and offering the notion that ETCLD are the epitome of a classic rock group.