THE BEACH BOYS play the Molson Amphitheatre on June 19. See listing. Rating: NN
As an early member of the Beach Boys, a 15-year-old David Marks introduced the band to the drugs and drinking that would ultimately lead to the downfall of Brian Wilson and his brothers Carl and Dennis. But at least Marks was interested in trying new things, which is more than you can say for Mike Love.
Both Marks and Love are back for the 50th anniversary tour and 29th album of new material. Granted, not much of it sounds all that new. Though names like Joe Thomas, Wilson's innovative
1980s 1998 producer, and Bon Jovi appear, this is very much Love's project. And since Ronald Reagan-lite Love thinks the Beach Boys' best period was their most profitable, we get bankable early 60s simplicity and zero evidence that these guys were once the coolest, funniest, strangest guys in music.
There are a few moments where Wilson is left alone to be his idiosyncratic self, like on the lonely Pacific Coast Highway and oddball The Private Life Of Bill And Sue. But most of the album is moronic Mike Love nostalgia that makes Kokomo sound good in retrospect.
Top track: Pacific Coast Highway