Release Date: Jun 15, 2018
Record label: Epitaph
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock
Charming their way onto the roster of legendary punk imprint Epitaph Records, freewheeling San Francisco quintet Culture Abuse cloak some keen songwriting under a facade of big dumb summer fun on their strong sophomore outing, Bay Dream. With their fusion of slacker rock, garage punk, and fuzzy grunge, they somehow turn goofball exercises like "Bee Kind to the Bugs," "S'Why," and "Dave's Not Here (I Got the Stuff Man)" into surprisingly enjoyable nuggets of West Coast pop that, at times, echo the simplistic appeal of the Ramones and the hooky melodicism of fellow Californians like Rooney or Weezer. Working with producer Carlos de la Garza (Paramore, Jimmy Eat World, M83), they've tightened up their sound and mellowed some of the more hardcore elements that were prevalent on their 2016 debut, Peach.
Is it mandatory that a band on Epitaph these days look at switching up their sound? Pianos Become The Teeth and Touche Amore really toned it down (to great effect I must add), and now it seems Culture Abuse has done the same. This is all in jest of course, because as I've gotten older, I've become more receptive to bands exploring new frontiers. And Culture Abuse does that on Bay Dream which is a breezy, poppy and oh-so melodic summer album from a band I thought was gonna hammer out more grunge/punk/hardcore. I met lead singer Dave Kelling in LA a year ago after catching them play (1.