Despite the heavy eyes, slumped shoulders, and feet on the coffee table implied by a dozen or so '60s-minded rockers dubbing themselves the Davenport Collective, the Cleveland multi-instrumentalists never really kick back for long. The four-band enclave has issued half a dozen albums in the past year alone, and they're even more active now that the rising indie Elephant Stone Records has relocated from L.A. to Lakewood.
Elephant Stone has already commissioned three Davenport discs, the first of which is the full-length debut from New Planet Trampoline. Fronted by Matt Cassidy (who also sings and plays guitar in the Volta Sound and heads up 9 Volt Haunted House), the band is the Davenport offshoot most infatuated with volume and sweat. "I'm desperate, like a homeless man who hasn't been to sleep in weeks," Cassidy howls early on Curse, his vocal cords stretching like hot taffy. His guitar playing is equally untutored and instinctive: The elastic licks on "Northwestern Woodpecker" sound like a hovering spacecraft, then give way to a Roman fountain of revved-up riffs. Backed by Farfisa organ and seismic bass, it makes this the Davenport release hardest to sit still to.
The same can't be said for the Volta Sound, whose beautiful, sun-baked tunes sound as if they were recorded in a grassy field. They sing of clouds and pretty girls in an acoustic drone more calming than a dozen Xanax prescriptions. Dandelion Wine, the first half of a double release, is the band's loosest and liveliest record yet, full of four-part harmonies, handclaps, Wurlitzer, and wonder. They've never penned a better tune than the group hug "I Love You," except maybe for "Girls and Tambourines," where a "la-la-la-la" chorus gives way to punchy horns. Dandelion Wine is as intoxicating as its muse.