While one won't hear the skin-slapping sounds of porn movie soundtracks or the groove of disco on Wondermints' latest, the '70s make a comeback on Mind If We Make Love to You. In fact, if it were a TV show, flashbacks of the old NBC peacock logo and au naturel Dallas Cheerleaders would appear throughout most of the 12 tracks on this collection of psychedelic-tinged pop songs. During the opening "On the Run," the Los Angeles trio presents an example of what would have happened if the Doors had hired Tom Jones to sing, going easy on the hallucinogens, opting instead for bouncing pop hooks and an airy ambiance. The lush orchestrations sandwiched between piano rock on "Ride" give harmonies ample space to breathe, while the retro "pa-pa-pa-pa" sing-along in "Out of Mind" is a reminder of why the Wondermints got to score the title theme to the Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery soundtrack.
But not everything on this album reeks of 25-cents-a-gallon gas. The country hues of "Time Has You" reverberate across a valley of malls -- similar to the one traversed by Fountains of Wayne on Utopia Parkway. The band manages to kick a bit of sand off the face of beach rock on "Project 11," and it's no surprise that it does it well, given that the Wondermints first earned recognition as Brian Wilson's backing band during his live Pet Sounds extravaganza. "Listen" and "So Nice" decelerate the album to an obligatory slow-ballad crawl, with waves of ivory tickling washing over vivid Beach Boys vocalizations. Mind If We Make Love to You is the nostalgic pair of pants long lost in the back of the closet but without the stench of mothballs.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.