The last thing California rockers need is our sympathy, but it's hard not to feel for Everest, an LA band that's done its best to dodge all the Topanga Canyon and Neil Young references critics have thrown at it. With this year's On Approach, Russell Pollard and company make their way out of the country-rock sun into a more changeable climate. Approach suggests the spacey indie rock of Grandaddy as much as it does Wilco, with the excellent single "Let Go" punching up fuzz bass and neat, stereo-panned guitar licks. The band still surrounds its melodies in fulsome harmonies, handclaps and heavy guitars, but its melodic impulses — especially on the elegant, almost Britpoppy "Keeping the Score" and the piano-and-string-soaked parlor tune "Dots" — suggests a band that's getting limber and ready for the long run.
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