INCHES reviews Mayer Hawthorne, The Anasazis, Robedoor, and Railcars (MP3s)
In the strange wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES reviews the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or other), believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
On its MySpace profile, NYC by way of San Diego trio The Anasazis sites its influences as "nuggets, pebbles, and stuff like that," which is about right. The band's short songs (four fit onto this release) range from vintage-sounding psychedelic punk to vintage-sounding punky psychedelia, and that's not a problem. With no bass in the mix, singers/guitarists Chris Rosi and Chris Eck, accompanied by drummer Lucas Blankartz, carve out a tinny, slack-filled space where simple vocal harmonies and easy guitar solos reign supreme. A solid fourth release from young upstart label I Hate Rock N' Roll recommended if you like, well, Nuggets, Pebbles, and stuff like that.
Over the past couple of months, Stones Throw artist Mayer Hawthorne has become one of this city's biggest rising talents -- a spectacles-sporting white kid originally from Ann Arbor Michigan who has an undeniable gift for creating throwback soul without a whiff of irony. He's currently touring Europe (where he recently hopped into the studio to record some vocals for Snoop Dogg) and he's carrying this limited 7-inch slab with him. Lucky for us, it's currently available online as well. "The Ills" is a "What's Going On"-style rundown of societal troubles -- from deadbeat dads to the piss-poor aid response following Hurricane Katrina -- but over Hawthorne's far more upbeat composition. You might hear a little "Judy Blue Eyes" in the horns, but mostly, you'll get a healthy dose of rollicking, blustery soul that'll inspire you to do just as these people are:*
*Err, the dancing. Not the self-immolating, or the being-abused-by-authority-figures.
Stream a sample and purchase via Stones Throw.