Great Lakes The Distance Between

If you can't rely on your friends to help out, whom can you depend on? And if your friends include the likes of Elf Power, the Apples In Stereo's Robert Schneider and several other of the Elephant 6 folks, even better, because you pick up some of their mystique by association. Great Lakes are Jamey Huggins (from Of Montreal), Ben Crum and Dan Donahue, along with a long list of guests that have helped to craft pretty much what you'd expect - timeless pop music with a strong influence from the Beach Boys, the Zombies and so on. The Distance Between is more of a compilation than a proper album, with eight of the 11 tracks being taken from various singles and EPs, so existing fans should approach with caution. But seeing as most of the sources are impossible to find these days, this will come as a blessing to most. Of the new material, the gentle "Ever So Over" is the highlight, although an earnest cover of the Monkees' "Some Of Shelley's Blues" is well worth a listen. The Elephant 6 sound is stronger at certain times than others; it is normally lurking in the background but the music has enough of its own identity that it doesn't even possess the infamous E6 logo. Nevertheless, short of the garage-y guitar on "Sister City" and the extended guitar workout on "Tugboat Sailor‚" there's nothing too surprising, considering those involved. (Orange Twin)