If I were to compile a list titled “Bands That Should’ve Been Waaaaay Bigger,” then rest assured that California’s Lassie Foundation would be right near the top. Formed by Wayne Everett (vocals) and Eric Campuzano (guitar) after The Prayer Chain’s dissolution in the mid ’90s, The Lassie Foundation specialized in what’s been called “pink noise pop,” i.e., a blend of My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze textures and The Beach Boys’ immaculate pop sensibilities.
Nearly three decades later, The Lassie Foundation has been revisiting and reissuing some of their older releases, beginning with the California EP last year. The initial plan was to release both California and their debut LP, Pacifico, on vinyl. But given the long delays for vinyl production, the band decided to quickly record some songs from both titles as an interim release to tide fans over. And thus, the Cave Sessions EP was born.
Recorded in a single session, Cave Sessions finds the full Lassie Foundation — Everett and Campuzano are joined by Jeff Schroeder (guitar), Jason 71 (bass), and Frank Lenz (drums) — in top form. Everett’s voice has never sounded better, whether he’s hitting those high notes on “Crown of the Sea” or striking a lovelorn stance on personal favorite “I’m Stealin’ to Be Your One in a Million.” Meanwhile, Campuzano and Schroeder’s guitars slather each song in thick layers of beautiful noise and distortion.
In a recent interview, Everett described the EP’s vibe: “There’s a great energy to these recordings — to me they feel like a band that believes in itself the way we did going into those first two albums.” Call it age and experience or just the timeless power of classic songs, but Cave Sessions is a solid reminder that, even after all these years, The Lassie Foundation remains one of our great indie-rock bands, unsung or otherwise. And if you’ve never heard them before, then it’s not too late to let their swirling, sun-drenched sounds whisk you away to a mystical land of endless beaches, crystal blue oceans, and golden sunsets.