Tuesday, August 5, 2014

LA Font Pulls On A Single Teen Bazooka

LA Font
LA Font is one of those Los Angeles-based bands that people tend to stumble upon. It might have happened once or twice at SXSW or while the quartet was working as the house band for a comedy show in Los Angeles. It may have been while watching "House of Lies" on Showtime or tuning into KRDQ in Los Angeles. They just finished a month-long residency at The Satellite Club.

The point is that LA Font has been kicking around its 90s-style indie rock sound for a of couple years. They haven't hit it big, per se, but they do keep locking in these smaller wins along the way. It's just enough to keep them going, picking up a handful of new fans with every introduction.

The attraction, by the way, isn't exclusive to the audiophiles craving something from the past (although that could be part of it). It really comes from writing music that is honest and straightforward, with instrumentals contributing as much clarity as the lyrics.

Teen Bazooka/Motor Rally is a stunning 7-inch introduction.

Teen Bazooka probably won't blow you away as a single. It works its way in with much more subtlety. The band — Danny Bobbe (vocals/guitar), Jon Perry (guitar), Greg Katz (bass) and Harlow Rodriguez (drums) — plays it in a matter-of-fact fashion. Turning 18 is a quiet right of passage.

They capture the oddity of that moment, when almost everything from those high schools are about to be left behind and the future is blinding and bright with possibilities. It's one of the few times in life you can rewrite your life and set a new direction, marked by the moment your on top of the world and in the dark with someone.

As a double-sided singke, Motor Rally complements Teen Bazooka, opening with a laundry list of ailments like drinking and drug use before revealing the paradox between what families say and do. Bobbe doubles down on his criticism of the American way, where the aspirations families have for high school kids doesn't always add up or amount to much.

As Bobbe blows through some colorful characterizations of high school idealism without consequence (although he alludes to consequences), it quickly becomes easy to see that LA Font isn't just another band challenging old school indie rock. They are still keyed in to modern problems — issues that people sang about but never really solved in the nineties.

This time out, LA Font recorded both singles with Bryan Pugh at Swing House Studios. It was mixed by Josiah Kosler and mastered by Carl Saff. The production efforts reduce the tin that creeped into their first album on occasion.

Still, there is plenty to like from their album Diving Man. If the two tracks featured in this review aren't enough of an introduction, start with Collect The Dust, Sharks, and Sensation. The title track has some moments too, even if the unpolished production overshadows the potential of the song.

Teen Bazooka/Motor Rally By LA Font Drive up 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

This is one of those occasions where playing music loud enough to wake the neighbors really paid off. Perry was playing his synthesizers so loud that they woke up his neighbor. Rather than being pissed off, Bobbe shared a few chords and lines he was working on in his spare time.

The two hit it off and decided to start a band, bringing Katz and Rodriguez into the fold soon after. Although the band lists its home as Los Angeles, some fans like to be more specific. LA Font are part of a growing roster of bands that can trace their roots to Echo Park.

Teen Bazooka/Motor Rally is available for download from iTunes or order the vinyl from Kill/Kurt Records.The band is currently touring the East Coast in August, with plans to return to Los Angeles in later. Their album, Diving Down can also be found on Amazon. For details on the band's dispassionate annihilation, visit them on Facebook.
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