Release Date: Jan 15, 2013
Record label: Don Giovanni
California XCalifornia X[Don Giovanni; 2013]By Zachary Corsa; January 16, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetSome people are inescapable creatures of nostalgia by their very design. Haunted souls for whom the art of today contains the inevitable trace echoes of yesterday down to its very shoes. We're terribly afflicted backwards-gazers, us Generation Y survivors, forever chalking up the failings of our current, troubling times with those golden-tinged days of warbling VHS and cassette, of slap bracelets and Crystal Pepsi and 120 Minutes.
I’m almost certain that many will draw comparisons between California X and Dinosaur Jr, and for the most part, they are absolutely warranted. Both bands are from the same part of Northern Massachusetts, the wonderful town of Amherst, and share a decent amount of sonic similarities. Frontman/guitarist Lemmy Gurtowsky seems to have a comparable penchant for drop-tuned guitars, searing stompbox-distortion, and flustered string bends as his hometown predecessors.
If you're the type to dismiss a band out of hand for not doing much to disguise their influences, California X probably aren't for you. The scuzz generated by this Amherst, Mass., power-trio owes more than a little something to Amherst's other, considerably more famous triad, Dinosaur Jr. The resemblance is, to say the least, striking; once you find out the two bands probably share an alderman, the name California X becomes either a neat bit of misdirection or an acute form of denial.
Swamp rock, sludge, fuzz, hooks, the next Dinosaur Jr.? Yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it. Oh, and they’re from Amherst to boot? Compare California X to J Mascis and Co. all you want, but, seriously: can we give them their own identity? They certainly deserve it. For one, these are happy guys, or at least they sound like it.
California X erupts with youthful fearlessness on its scorching debut LP for Don Giovanni. Hailing from Amherst, MA, the band takes cues from 1970s cock-rock grind, but all of the noisy rage is packaged with hints of a softer, more melodic sound.In the vein of homegrown legends Dinosaur Jr. and Husker Du, the album’s opener, “Sucker,” vaunts distorted guitar through an all-encompassing instrumental intro that pulses in its mix of classic power chords, smashing drums and droning riffs.