September 13, 2007

Record Review: Earlimart

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Honestly, I am not easily impressed. However, when I first heard L.A. based indie-rock band Earlimart’s new album, Mentor Tormentor, I was just that. Their sound has often been compared to that of The Pixies and Pedro and the Lion, yet with Mentor Tormentor, as well as 2004’s Treble & Tremble, they move away from their punk roots and toward a sound that is more lush and evocative. Frontman Aaron Espinoza’s heady vocals reminded me of a mellower Kenny Choi (of Daphne Loves Derby); this is especially prominent in “Don’t Think About Me.” Although all of my friends called me crazy, I swore I heard just a little Michael Stipe in “Answers & Questions.” Espinoza’s vocals are great, and when Ariana Murray (who usually sings backup) steps forward and solos for two songs, it just gets better. When I recommend a purchase over a download, you know that’s high praise. Buy this now.