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A Mighty Wind Blows In

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Wind don't do anything halfway.

    Whereas most bands scramble to amass enough top-shelf material to fill an album, the members of the San Diego/Long Beach four-piece decided to set themselves apart by releasing the double-disc, 23-song Harum-Scarum as their debut, and there isn't a moment of filler on it.

    As you might expect from an 87-minute record, the self-released, self-produced Harum-Scarum covers a lot of ground. The Wind's classic-rock influences are immediately apparent, with the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Band among the most obvious. The plentiful harmonies and pop sensibilities may hark back to the greats of yesteryear, but what really makes the album feel out of time is its unrelenting diversity. Most bands today tend to find one sound and stick with it -- I'm looking at you, Crocodiles -- but the Wind aren't afraid to leap from one style to another.

    Despite their admiration for classic rock, the Wind are no throwbacks. The band also cites Grizzly Bear, Delta Spirit, Local Natives and Fleet Foxes as influences and derives its strength from culling the best aspects of yesterday and today. The heavy lifting might not result in anything groundbreaking, but much like the similarly backward-leaning Dr. Dog, the Wind make up for any lack of originality with a firm grasp of songwriting and confident execution.

    In fact, the Wind are so confident in their music that they're giving away the entire first disc of Harum-Scarum on their website. All it'll cost you is a little Facebook link sharing; that's a small price to pay for 12 tracks of time-spanning pop. Completists can purchase the entire album here.

    Whether you opt for the free single disc or buy the double-disc version, Harum-Scarum has plenty to keep you tided over until the Wind's next release. And, given the band members's penchant for overachievement, it'll be interesting to see how they go about topping themselves.

    Chris Maroulakos is a writer and managing editor for the San Diego music blog Owl and Bear.