Material: While it’s bizarrely wet in Long Beach, even for an evening in early February, there’s something about the music of LA band The Reflectors that is wonderfully adept at shaking away these winter blues. The power-pop that this quartet peddles in is so positive, so unshakably enjoyable, that it’s impossible not to get carried along for the ride. Songs such as “Baby It’s You” (which is actually available as a free download if you follow the Bandcamp link above) and one that we think is called “Storming Thunder,” and “Champagne” have an infectious ‘60s boy group vibe, blended with Detroit power-poppers Marshall Crenshaw and Outrageous Cherry, a spot of The Replacements and a dab of Brit indie rockers Teenage Fanclub. The lyrics all seem to be about girls and relationships, but, hey, why not?
Musicianship: This band is tight. Like, your dress pants after Thanksgiving dinner-tight. And yet the whole ensemble seems to come together entirely naturally. We have to believe that they rehearse, and rehearse hard. But such is the fresh, fancy-free nature of the band, it feels organic. Carman and Fasciane mesh so beautifully with their respective guitars that it’s like they have one Borg-like mind. It’s simply all a joy to behold.
Performance: These guys are extremely watchable. They might not cover much of the stage, but they have that delightful ‘60s band head-side-bob. Like the musicianship, this all seems choreographed, although it probably isn’t. Dapper in dress shirts, but not taking the overkill route by wearing ties, the band has an image that is smart-yet-casual, which matches the tunes. Between the songs, they’re chatty and witty––though they don’t allow themselves to get stale—and soon kick into the next killer number.
Summary: Opening up a four-band bill in Long Beach, The Reflectors did a great job at raising the bar almost unfairly high from the very start. Soaking up the enthusiastic attention of a music-hungry crowd, they seemed to please those who came to see them while making a few new friends. They have a great image and stacks of great songs, so they have everything going for them. They just need to keep working hard.
Players: James Carman, guitar, vocals; Nick Fasciane, guitar, vocals; Ryan Miranda, bass; Johnny Reyes, drums