Catalog Number: DG-63
Release Date: February 2013
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In less than a year, Amherst trio California X have emerged from basements and practice spaces of Massachusetts as one of the tightest new garage punk bands in the Northeast, teetering between various pockets of the punk spectrum — drawing influence from the worlds of noisy 80s Western Mass rock, fuzzy 90s garage pop, and classic post-hardcore SST sounds. Fronted by main songwriter Lemmy Gurtowsky, their debut LP for Don Giovanni follows one prior release, a double A-side single “Sucker” b/w “Mummy” out via the UK’s Sound of Sweet Nothing label. From start to finish, the record’s eight hook-heavy tracks of melodic guitar punk could all be singles: the noisy vox and huge grungy riffs on “Curse of the Nightmare”; the slower-burning head-banging pulse of “Pond Rot”; the shoegaze-inflicted fleshed-out melodies of “Lemmy’s World”. Songs like “Hot Hed” feel so essential you’ll wonder how they’re not actually from some long-lost reel-to-reel tape of 1980s Western Mass punk. Appropriately, the band recorded the album in MA with Justin Pizzoferrato, previously a collaborator with Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr – and though at times California X sound like they could have been contemporaries with those bands, they’re carving out their own space in a lineage of their hometown’s punk history, bringing a fresh, dynamic take.