By John M. Borack
Beatle sound-alikes have been a dime a dozen ever since the Knickerbockers lifted the Merseybeat sound for their splendid 1965 one-shot, “Lies.” Of course, for every Knickerbockers or Spongetones (a superior US band that has been churning out Beatlesque gems since the early ‘80s), there have been a boatload of inferior acts who’ve attempt to ape the Fab Four’s sound with little subtlety and/or minimal songwriting chops.
Fortunately, the Kavanaghs, a talented quartet hailing from Argentina, use the Beatles’ sound as a mere jumping off point for their own spirited, stylish compositions. And unlike many indie pop bands of their ilk, the Kavs mine more of the mid to late-period Beatles sound, at times actually sounding not unlike a current reincarnation of Badfinger or the Aerovons (whose Tom Hartman penned the disc’s notes) rather than the Beatles.
That’s not to say that lead vocalist/main songwriter Tiago Galindez doesn’t sound more than a little like Paul McCartney (he does), or that some of the songs aren’t overtly Beatle-y — for example, the slide guitar-fueled shuffle “Hyde Park” sounds like a cross between “For You Blue” and Herman’s Hermits’ “I’m Into Something Good” and “Surreal” sounds like a primo McCartney ballad circa the White Album. But there are other influences at work here, including the Zombies, Kinks (“English Town, English People” recalls both bands) and power pop acts such as Raspberries (“The Simple Things” is an infectious rip of the ‘Berries ‘70s smash “I Wanna Be With You”). In addition, they get bonus points for writing a tune called “Friday On My Mind” that is very nearly as catchy as the Easybeats’ classic of the same title. The songs, performances and production on The Kavanaghs are all top notch and the overall effect is one of a band influenced by the best of the ‘60s but certainly not beholden to the decade.
Items that you may enjoy in our Goldmine store:
• Get a Goldmine collective on The Beatles, “Meet the Fab Four CD“