Guitar-oriented, neo-psych indie rock. Childhood friends, John Fredericks and Andy Breihan, played in various SoCal bands before moving to the East Coast. This debut album recaptures some of that L.A., 1990s indie rock sound that the two cut their teeth on. Many of the songs shimmer in the L.A. heat, with breezy melodies and vocals, prominent bass and big drums. There are also a couple of driving rock songs and one — “Time” — that is like a trip through time to see a lost Doors performance, without Jim Morrison, of course.
Recommended: 1, 6, 4, 8 No FCCs.
1. (3:41) Carnival Ghost – Driving, pounding indie rock with droning vocals. Pulsing bass. Prominent drums. Piano. Lead guitar solos in breaks. ***
2. (3:14) Think You’re Pretty – Lighter and breezier. Backbeat snare. Guitar stingers. Nice chorus. Lead guitar with lots of psyche-y effects.
3. (2:27) Kerosene – Funky beat and slinky bass line. Shakers. Spare arrangement. Vocals a bit more like Tom Petty.
4. (4:41) Driving – A leisurely drive with the top down along the Pacific Coast Highway. Lead vocals over an easy beat and bass line. Sprawling electric guitar solos with feedback effects from time to time. ***
5. (7:20) Sixty Battles (Carmelina) – Urgent and roaring. Frantic strumming of electric guitar. Organ. Vocals set back in the mix. Frantic pace ends suddenly at 3:32 and becomes 20 seconds of something (a shower running?). Then, backstage-like noodling of a distant, reverb-y slide guitar and infrequent rhythm. Song ends 30 seconds early — with more shower noise.
6. (4:07) Sunny Afternoon – Sunny Los Angeles. A very Hall & Oates feeling to this. Rapid bass line with glistening guitar and drums — vocals floating above. ***
7. (3:25) Black Dust – Easy pace. Another track where the vocals lean toward Tom Petty. Snare drum and high hat keep the rhythm. Plinky piano. Rich chorus.
8. (4:12) Where It Ends, Where It Begins – Slick, well-produced melody with slinky bass again providing the foundation. Reverbed vocals drifting on the breeze. Synth bells. Full chorus — but disintegrates into just noise and bells at around 3 minutes. **
9. (3:55) Time – Psychedelic 1960s Doors. Reverbed fuzz guitars. Pounding tom-toms. Bell-like synths and indistinguishable vocals.
10. (3:49) See Me Right – Mysterious, with clock-like synth and lots of swelling, swirling noise over reverbed vocals. Swells into noisy electric guitar at 2:30 and ends early except for meandering noise and synth notes.