Funky guitar riffs and an upbeat tempo is the name of The Guru’s game. The band is filled with the effervescent energy of indie rock, the body-moving funkiness of jazz and the good vibes of 90’s surf rock. This is all wrapped up neatly with an infectious catchiness. The Guru’s debut album Pretty Things delivers a neat package of feel-good music that deserves to creep onto any decent summer playlist.
From the opening jangling chords of “Pretty Things”, The Guru set out on a mission to beat away any of the moody blues that may decide to settle upon you. It is an upbeat song imbued with a funky bass line, melodramatic drums, and keening guitar riffs. Vocalist Eddie Golden’s raw, surf rock styled vocals deliver a rather catchy chorus of “We will never ever have pretty, pretty things again”. “Co-desire” feels like a song that has been imbued with sunshine and the very things that happiness is made of. Coursing through the veins of this song is the warm blood of garage-rock orientated indie rock and the laid-back nature of a surfer. Fanciful guitar riffs are found at every turn, underlain by distinctly groovy bass lines. This is a song that is bound to get you on your feet and moving along as Golden utters the lyrics of “I must be feeling good”. “How I Love That Girl” feels like a passing tribute to the Pixies as it thunders out of the gate with the energy of garage rock, yet manages to maintain the type of harmony you’d expect from a finely-oiled jazz group.
Skip along further into the album and you’ll be greeted by the radio-friendly, feel-good infectious catchiness of “Buoy-U”; filled with catchy hooks, harmonious female backing vocals, pop-inspired melody, and once again, that ever-so funky bass line. The Guru launches into a The Wombats inspired song through “Nostalgic”. Sure, they don’t have British accents, but there is a relative amount of zaniness within the song that make me of The Wombats, especially on the lines of “You’re mystical / You’re magical” and “I don’t like your attitude”.
Not content with only performing upbeat indie rock songs, The Guru would also like to show a slightly more melodic and laid-back side. The laid-back melody of “Real Nice” sounds well, real nice. On this melodic songs like “Golden Brown”, “California Girl” a “Better Off”, The Guru create a sound that feels like it should be reserved to play during summer with the roof of a convertible down while you’re road-tripping and hitting various surf spots. The laid-back surf rock nature of the band really shines through on these songs and you’re left with a warm feeling all over your body, or that could just be the sunshine beating down on it.
The Guru is a band that you just cannot help to love. Their infectious indie rock sound heard in Pretty Things will creep its way into your head and you shall catch yourself humming these tunes even a few hours after listening to them. Their music acts like a large stick to any depressing mood. Essentially, if you ever feel down then just throw on The Guru and watch them beat the sadness away. The band is one of those gems that you stumble upon during a late night of music browsing and you immediately fall in love with them. I give them my “Indie Stamp of Approval” for being a band that actually knows what indie rock is meant to sound like.