By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
The Soul of John Black
You might have checked out these guys’satisfying sets in their frequent appearances at places like the Temple Bar, but even that might not’ve prepared you for the low-key charms of their new self-titled record on NoMayo Records. John “JB” Bigham and Christopher “CT” Thomas’ very tight band brings the sweetly old-school funk-rock with that kinda rare relaxed feel — Rufus comes to mind — and they’ll spice the blend with fuzzy slide, honking sax and kick-back vocals atop their consistent grooves. There’s something countrified about it all, like they can’t be bothered to heed the trends. Pure pleasure.
Call it the lure of the “California sound,” but for the five-piece combo called Irving that means the freedom to go exploring in the wide-open, whimsical spaces. Irving’s an intriguing little band seemingly bursting with Cowsills-hyper tunes, always lyrically cheeky and offering mildly psychedelic surprises, as if everything glows oddly under that Kodak golden light. Partridge Family’s got nothing on these vocal harmonies, and the group’s schizoid instrumental attitude deftly reconciles the guitar-band/dirty-synth/kitchen-sink divide — often in the same song, always to classic simple-pop effect. Dig their new EP I Hope You’re Feeling Better Now on righteous Eenie Meenie Records.
Three guys, no bass, just voice/guitar/drums, and — hellfire! Funny, too. Viciously uncompromising and hardly user-friendly, 400 Blows have blossomed into a full-blown punk rock ragnarok where the “punk” finally imploded for good and rose phoenixlike from the muck. Here’s that death-crunch/Screamers hybrid you crave, here are your awesome, sputtering, rasping riffs, your classic punk textures blenderized and blasted. Singer Skot is as thoroughly non-charming as an L.A. punk front man circa ’77, his inbred mutant half-rant/half–hacksaw bark is crouched in the corner, trembling — you don’t want to get near, ’cause he might lash out! Required: 400 Blows’ beautifully recorded new release on Rehash Records. It’s called Black Rainbow.
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city