The Volebeats wanna party like it’s 1966 or ’67. They always have, really, and unabashedly so. On their seventh album, Like Her, the guitar-pop quintet from Detroit invokes the more shimmering facets of Moby Grape, the autumnal brooding of Forever Changes, vintage Hollies minus the froth, the jingle-jangle of the Byrds circa “Feel A Whole Lot Better”, the yearning voices of Wild Honey. A mess of lesser lights come to mind as well: the Cryin’ Shames, the Turtles, the Grass Roots, even Monkee Mike singing “What I Am Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?” And all of it as if punk, much less the enchantingly skewed pop of Big Star and their acolytes, never happened.
And it’s all pretty glorious. “Candy is everything I want in the summertime,” goes one signal line from the album, aptly summing up its captivating appeal. The playing here is so effortless, the arrangements so spacious, the singing so bittersweet, the writing so affectless (cf. “September Spell”, “Touch Me One Time” — everything, really) that it all sounds new, or, at the very least, revivified. To invoke the Buffalo Springfield, another of the group’s touchstones, the Volebeats even come right out and say it in “Time Travel”: “I don’t mean to travel time/It just happens when I open my eyes.”