Avi Buffalo's Avigdor Zahner-Isenberg looks and sings like the bastard son of Wayne Coyne and Kevin Drew. Nevertheless, it's more than just an excess of cute faces that makes his Long Beach-based band so powerful. The group's self-titled 2009 Sub Pop debut warms up any room it's played in with a mixture of sunny California beauty and warped psychedelic jangle not unlike that of current acid-washed stars Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. In contrast to those SoCal desert hippies, however, Zahner-Isenberg's outfit mixes Mamas and the Papas-style wholesomeness with a brighter, slower version of Sonic Youth's ever-epic Goo and Washing Machine-era Rock-with-a-capital-R. "Remember Last Time" and "Can't I Know," for instance, utilize sweet coed harmonies and Byrdsy dual guitar swirl to showcase both Zahner-Isenberg's love for the most memorably musical indie rock and his passion for left-field guitar legends such as Wes Montgomery. Genuinely stirring stuff — especially from a bunch of kids who just finished high school.
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