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Freshly scrubbed alternative rockers from the upper-class Los Angeles beach suburb of Malibu, Simon Dawes is an inoffensive blend of the Shins' quirky, '60s-inspired melodicism and the radio-ready commercial sheen of the Killers or Maroon 5. Fronted by high school friends Taylor Goldsmith (lead singer) and Blake Mills (guitar), the lineup is rounded out by bassist Wylie Slam and drummer Stuart Johnson, a session musician who's played with Matthew Sweet and John Doe, among others. (A June 2006 cover story in a local Malibu glossy claims both that the odd band name comes from Goldsmith's and Mills' middle names, and, somewhat improbably, that Goldsmith is the son of veteran R&B singer Lenny Goldsmith, best known for his '70s stint with Tower of Power.) Discovered by veteran producer and A&R man Tony Berg (Michael Penn, X), Simon Dawes signed to The Record Collection, a pseudo-indie financed by Warner Brothers, in 2005 and released their debut EP, What No One Hears, in October of that year. Carnivore, Simon Dawes' first full-length album, followed in September 2006. North American shows with Band of Horses also coincided its release that fall. ~ Stewart Mason