Ever since the release of The Beach Boys’ debut album, ‘Surfing Safari’, the band have been influencing acts from left, right and centre. From the direct inspiration of ‘Pet Sounds’ having being showcased through iconic albums that have stood the test of time, including The Beatles’ ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ to name the first of many that spring to mind, right through to the new-wave of surf inspired sounds. Let’s take bands such as The Drums and Howler, for instance, whilst not forgetting lo-fi acts such as Wavves and Crocodiles, each of whom purvey sounds that take flagrant inspiration from Wilson and co. Whether through a simple spell of sun-drenched splendour, or indeed, through the process of an up to date cover version.
However, recent news has shown that The Beach Boys will return for the summer of 2012 – providing their first studio album since 1992’s ‘Summer In Paradise’. Comprising a tracklisting of brand new material, which is great, right? Sure, but we can’t help but ask ourselves: will the band’s new material ever live up to the standard of their previous long play efforts such as masterpieces – ‘Pet Sounds’ or ‘Smile’?
Until the surfacing of the album’s title track, ‘That’s Why God Made The Radio’, it would have been fair to have almost disregarded the release, yet since gaining an insight into the album, the tables have turned incredibly. As the new track reverts back to the sound of what came long before we were even born. Yes, it’s not quite the singles that carried their career through the sixties and seventies, but it could well be a fitting B-side to one of the aforementioned releases. And let’s face it, that’s a darn sight better than nothing. From the delightful vocal harmonies that soar above the bass-line, which does vaguely resemble Mud’s ‘Lonely This Christmas’, there’s a corny, feel-good notion, with Johnson’s vocalised key changes to die for.
Inciting an extraordinarily positive reception, the album is bound to be a tremendous success, if the rest of the record manages to live up to the primary glimmer. Although, as some have pointed out, The Beach Boys have had their moment in the sunlight, so why don’t we strive to a support a newer generation of bands, rather than re-opening our hearts to band’s that will have, most probably, gone quiet again by this time next year?
Maybe they have a point, and maybe The Beach Boys are just riding the reunion wave as a finale to their semi-century spanning career. Is the long awaited reunion just a case of nostalgia for nostalgia’s sake? Perhaps it is, but let’s take this time to enjoy it while we can.