Yeah, I know, every movie set in the 1960s rehashes “Turn! Turn! Turn!”—to the point its actually become a soundtrack song and not a Byrds song. But there’s a good reason for that; The Byrds perfectly captured the mood of their time. Besides which, they are so massively influential that you can pretty much kiss goodbye to R.E.M., The Connells, the Southeastern jangle pop scene, and the Southern California Paisley Underground groups without them. All the essentials are here—“Mr. Tambourine Man” (the line “jingle jangle morning” spawned the name for jangle pop), “My Back Pages,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and “Eight Miles High,” perhaps one of the best psychedelic songs ever.
If you love the Byrds or even R.E.M., then you’ll undoubtedly like the Lears as well. With these guys, it’s almost like Roger McGuinn never laid down his 12-string Rickenbacker. This Florida band adds a strong dose of psychedelia as well, favoring “Eight Miles High”-era Byrds. Perhaps surprising for a group so indebted to one of the masters, The Lears are much more than a sound-alike band. These 14 songs are no slavish imitation, but brim with vitality, enthusiasm, and great musicianship.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/byrds-lears/