Article by KevW
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, California Death are a young quartet who released their first album earlier this year. Although based in the east of the US, their name references the west coast, and in sound they compare to several bands from the indie/dreampop scene that's sprung up there in recent years. 'California Death' is an album that takes its cue from post-punk ('Postmodern Lover' has a similar moodiness, offset by bright flashes of guitar), the Gothic indie scene of the '80s (the jangly 'Masquerade' recalls The Cure - aside from the vocal), shoegaze, indiepop and more. There's a psychedelic edge at times as well and picking a favourite track is a challenge.
As the whole lot is a free download then it's worth getting the entire package, but as a taster, the band have done the work themselves and chosen 'Wake' as the first track. If we had to pick a running order ourselves then not much would be changed. 'Wake' has instant impact and takes guitar lines that are a sharp as shards of glass and a retro indie-pop feel. They have the urgency and drive of the finest that the alternative world had to throw at us thirty years or so ago, but with a freshness that avoids sounding like a rehash of some dusty old tapes you had as a kid. These guys are still unsigned, but they're consistently better than many bands of a similar style that have been snapped up by a label. If they reach a wide enough audience then you'd expect a proper release before too long. Spread the word.
California Death's website
Stream or download the EP
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