Artist to Watch! California Wives

californiawives

First off, you have to listen to this LOUD. California Wives, as reported back in January, are a brand new group from Chicago consisting of Joe O’Connor (drums, vocals), Hans Michel (guitars, keys), Dan Zima (lead vocals, guitars), and Jayson Kramer (keys, programming, guitars). With post-punk and new wave leanings, they bring to mind the likes of New Order, REM, Franz Ferdinand, the Cure, and Ride.

The mostly-instrumental “EL84” kicks off the EP and it certainly launches things with no delay or filler. Beginning with a droning fuzz and distinctive bass line, the synths and guitar riff enter square away. Easily a dance floor track, the most exciting aspects are the excellent progressions and bridges. The guitar and synths complement each other into a playful interplay throughout, culminating with the entrance of Zima’s incoherent vocals at the end. The second track here, “What Could Go Wrong”, starts with a classic Stephen Morris beat paired with a very New Order riff a la “Age of Consent”/”Ceremony”. Zima enters with an Ian Curtis-esque vocal track that is by no means cheesy or ill-conceived. Along with the expanse that the background electronics bring, Michel’s guitar playing stands out on this track and delivers with shine. This is a fantastic take and shows a band with some definite future potential.

Having wrapped up their first EP, the band is continuing to push their sound and genre-fusing blend of post-punk, new wave, and shoegaze to more and exciting directions. They will be playing the following upcoming shows, all in Chicago. Stay tuned to their blog and myspace. Enjoy!
4.3.09 Miska’s
4.28.09 Darkroom
5.30.09 Cal’s Liquors

Blog: http://californiawives.wordpress.com/
Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/californiawives

EL84

What Could Go Wrong

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~ by the reckoner on March 23, 2009.

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