Seven months into it, and we have the song of year — “Tokyo Aquarium,” the opening cut on this debut release of the Del-Fi 2000 imprint. The song’s driving, infectious chorus rolls around the brainpan like the best Velvet Crush, Beatles, or Beach Boys, refusing to leave. Cloud Eleven, which is actually Rick Gallego and a whole bunch of nifty studio toys with Starbelly’s Greg Schroeder on drums, sounds like a true labor of knob-twiddling love. Blessed with an ear for the hook and a great feel for harmony vocals, Gallego writes timeless pop, free of cliché and loaded with a growling undercurrent that balances nicely the touches of Coral sitar and Byrds-style Rickenbacker jangle. Best of all, this sounds like a record made by a band, not a closeted Jeff Lynne-wannabe, a fate that hampers many of this genre. Float up and enjoy.
Del-Fi 2000, 8271 Melrose Avenue #103, Los Angeles, CA 90046