Brian Wilson backs his own backing band

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The Wondermints – Mind If We Make Love To You

The Wondermints’ replication of Pet Sounds and Smile on those recent revelatory tours has given them acclaim by association. But like The High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan, also roped in by Wilson before now to try to simulate former glories, these Californians have little of their own to offer. Bland voices and lyrics so vapid they barely exist, arrangements that studiously avoid originality?it could hardly be further from the wonder of Wilson in his prime, or Van Dyke Parks’ arcane foibles. Only the explicitly McCartneyesque “Another Way” has a decent tune, and Wilson’s backing vocals are inconsequential. What, please, is the point?