Call And Response Call And Response

Californians are hyper-aware that they live in what is, for much of the world, as close to earthly Utopia as can be. Where else has this ever been better advertised than in the pop song? This is where the mythical, idealised California of misinformed fantasy resides; free of social or environmental turbulence, flush with Beach Boys harmonies, the Family Stone's multicultural unity and the Go-Go's eyes - before in-fighting and "snow" split all of them apart. Call And Response are born and bred children of Santa Barbara, but aren't about to allow their intrinsic knowledge to prevent them from telling beautiful, four-minute lies of their own. Although it surely wasn't conceived as such, Call And Response could be interpreted as a concept record about joy; the sort of suspended bliss that results from too many hours spent bathing in the sun or gazing at the stars. "Stars Have Eyes" and "California Floating In Space" impart this brilliantly - the latter is so luxuriously perfect that it deserves to be claimed as a state anthem. Carrie Clough's clipped, bell-like phrasing recalls Karen Carpenter at her joyous best, while the group's harmonies elevate them above the indie hordes with which they unfortunately will be associated. C.A.R. are too pregnant with promise to meet such a fate. This debut was recorded on the cheap and in a matter of days. What another year and a budget might conjure out of them should be a joy to behold. (Kindercore)