California X California X

California X California X
8
In Amherst, MA, Dinosaur Jr.'s legend looms large. So, rather than buck the influence of their hometown's loudest sons, the three guys in California X embrace J, Lou and Murph's penchant for bottom end sludge and pop hooks, crafting a pounding debut filled with chugging riffs and sticky licks. Singer Lemmy Gurtowsky's nasally croon lands somewhere near Tim DeLaughter's, circa his days in Tripping Daisy, detailing stories of lost plots and wilful laziness. There's a sunburnt quality to the record that recalls many of SST's mid-'80s acts, particularly the Meat Puppets. It gives this eight-song debut a laconic drawl that makes the whole thing feel heavier than it already is. Playing up their influences without becoming trapped by them, California X deliver a fantastic debut that matches its raw physicality with hooks that won't quit. (Don Giovanni)