Coming from nowhere on the St. Ives label is an album full of demos from BAD WEATHER CALIFORNIA, a truly unique and confident band who hail from Denver, Colorado.
First things first – of the 267 copies of this album that were released from St. Ives, ten of those records have actual blood in the ink from BWC band members. Crazy stuff (is it weird if I want one?). You shouldn’t worry though because you’re not going to get AIDS, but instead just about the most level-headed and feel-good album I’ve heard yet this year, while simultaneously being one of the better guitar albums. Needless to say this is a timely release and a refreshing burst of optimistic and laid-back jammers that will ease your troubled soul. “If You Can Dance” sets you on a glorious voyage, almost being like the mission statement for the entire album. In the song they ask, “How you gonna roll?” BWC quickly answer back, “Happy and free.” This right here immediately sets the tone.
Island-friendly guitar licks with opposing bass lines flow perfectly against the tropical rhythms, making for an easily listenable album that should be accessible by all – but the sad part is, it won’t. Electrified hooks of pure optimism gush constantly from your speakers, bringing me to say that no frowning whatsoever will ever be acceptable in these parts. Just go with the flow and everything will be fine. “I’ll Reach Out My Hand” sticks to that attitude perfectly, with weeping and invigorating sun-down guitar licks that will keep the good vibes flowing until the sun comes back.
Taking a slightly different route is a song like “Don and I”, where punishing and stormy guitar licks together make for an enormous sound that will swallow you whole. The thunderous guitars sound as if they rain down from the clouds as the big sweeping hooks wrap you up and never let go. Other tracks like “Don’t Hide Your Face” and “Ain’t No Grave” supply a more hard-hitting and rock-solid approach, with clanking percussion and what could possibly be steel drums. In “Don’t Hide Your Face”, abrasive island hooks will lock you up tight while the call and response vocals create plenty of chanting, going hand-in-hand with the guitars, making for a truly dominant hook. The best part is, that’s only the beginning. If you’re looking for a good start to summer, grab this record now while it’s still available, because 267 copies certainly don’t last forever.
If You Can Dance –
I’ll Reach Out My Hand –
Don and I –
Don’t Hide Your Face –
My Rating: 8.9/10
Genre/ Tags: Alternative, Pop, Tropical
Demos and Live Takes: Tracklist:
1.) If You Can Dance
2.) Stand in My Sunshine
3.) I’ll Reach Out My Hand
4.) Come Stand in My Sunshine
5.) Don and I
7.) Ain’t No Grave (Jammer Version)
8.) Don’t Hide Your Face
9.) If it Snows