Mellowdrone made a few ripples in L.A.'s musical pond a couple years ago. With their melodic melange of richly layered orchestration –an army of melodicas, gristled bass, and slinky slide guitar– Mellowdrone intermixed soaring choruses with gentle piano-driven interludes. Tonight, the band releases Angry Bear, their first full length follow up to 2006's Box, and celebrates with a record release party at Spaceland. The band, fronted by songwriter/ singer Johnathan Bates, encountered many complications over the years, including the band's departure from Columbia Records and a catastrophic car accident that left guitarist Tony DeMatteo in a coma for four days and bed-ridden for three months.

*Lighter-raising allowed only in Spaceland's smoke-a-torium, please.

But Mellowdrone forged on, and in late 2008, Mellowdrone collected a cadre of songs and recorded Angry Bear, in a series of (mostly) live sessions at friends' houses. At tonight's record release, expect Mellowdrone to fill Spaceland with thick textures of swooning guitar solos and Bates' anthemic vocals suited for arenas and lighter-raising* rockouts alike.

Mellowdrone – Whereever You May Go (MP3)

Mellowdrone – Elephant (MP3)

LA Weekly