Music » Local Licks

Local Licks

This week, we review Stella Royale, Tommy Guerrero, Grip Grand, and the Waybacks.



Stella Royale, Dog. This curious mish-mash of indie rock and Americana claims influences from Pixies to Drive-By Truckers, and for once it isn't wishful thinking. Childhood friends John Spaw and David Craig hit on something special here; the persistent contrast between high-gain guitars and glossy vocals is unbeatable. (self-released)

Tommy Guerrero, Return of the Bastard. Although it's as beautiful and technically proficient as could be asked of it, Tommy Guerrero's music tends to be relegated to the background. His latest takes this to the extreme: each of the fifteen tracks represents one square in a patchwork chill-out soundtrack. (Galaxia Records)

Grip Grand, Brokelore. Grip Grand's brand of lightweight hip-hop weaves coherent if not technically jaw-dropping raps into a cornucopia of creative, sample-based beats. While these fourteen songs don't mesh together as well as they could, Grip and his able crew stay fresh, open-minded, and charmingly attuned to their own fallibility. (Look Records)

The Waybacks, Loaded. The Waybacks' style is scarce in the Bay Area: upbeat country-rock with nary an edge, for those who like their good-times tunes served straight-up. Folk, soul, and roadhouse boogie color the Waybacks' approach, but at its heart this is capable, down-to-earth country fare made for the summer concert season. (Compass Records)

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.