California XAmherst, MA
Two years after their self-titled debut on Don Giovanni Records, California X delivers Nights in the Dark, once again bearing the imprint of sound engineer Justin Pizzoferrato (Dinosaur Jr, Speedy Ortiz). The guitar-drenched sound of their debut finds solace in a heavy, lush, and melodic home with the addition of Zack Brower on guitar and Cole Lanier on drums. Amongst songs furnished with prominent guitar leads and power pop hooks, California X offers a moodier, more textured, but instinctively catchy experience. Nights shows off a musical and lyrical maturity for the band, exploring ideas of darkness and longing. California X draws on influences from 70s rock to 90s alternative, but applies this pallet with intention. The product is a distinctive record, maneuvering seamlessly from fuzzed-out rock to conceptual ballad. An introspective vision is confronted by distance over the course of California X’s new release, shifting their gaze from Hadley, MA, their home, to the firmament.