A few months ago if you would’ve asked me to name a local band in Orange County, I probably could’ve only named 1. I wasn't aware of the thriving and growing local scene that Orange County has. In my ongoing quest to find new music to devour with my ears I discovered lots of local bands. I learned about this rad little record label Pacific Nature Records which is owned and run by Alyx Poska. In learning about that label I was given the opportunity to review 2 of Pacific Nature’s newest releases.
Panoramic- Not Exactly
Panoramic is a progressive rock/punk band from Fountain Valley,CA. The album Not Exactly is the newest effort put forth by the dudes in Panoramic. The album is composed of 9 well written songs. The things that stuck with me the most throughout the album were the really cool instrumental parts and the vocals. The 2nd track “Cold” has a basic sounding drum beat but with all the layers on top of each other, that basic drum beat stood out the most. The use of piano on the album wasn't something that was expected. On the song “Okay” the piano starts off the song and then the space sounds come in, so you feel like your in space but with a piano. The idea of spacey sounds might sound peculiar and mixed with piano might sound extra peculiar but you have to listen to it. For some odd reason, it totally works.
Overall, my favorite song on this album was “You Don’t Mean”. The acoustic guitar and the piano work really well together with the layered vocals. The chorus is catchy enough to get stuck in your head all day. The last thing about this song that I really enjoyed were the vocals. The song is 3 1/2 minutes long and the last 30 seconds or so are instrumental. In the beginning of the song the vocals sound pretty normal. During the chorus the vocals change and they just make you happy.
Arden Klawitter + the Powerclaps- Arden Klawitter
Arden Klawitter is a solo musician and for this self-titled EP he used a backing band that he called The Powerclaps.
First things first, the CD packaging for this album is scented, extra points for that alone. I’ve never owned a scented album and now that I do, I want all my favorite bands to scent their albums too.
Right off the bat, this album was interesting, it’s full of interesting instruments and genre changes. The weirdest song on this album was “Naegleria/Bobcat”. It was not a bad song by any means just really weird because it starts out with a fuzzy guitar, then goes soft then at the end turns into a metal song. It added an unexpected element to the song which you wouldn't expect from listening to the rest of the album. “Room Caught Fire” was another song that stuck out because it totally changes the feel of the album from what was previously heard on the 1st song. The 1st song is chill and then “Room Caught Fire” spikes up the tempo. It begins with a driving guitar and drums that reflect that guitar. The vocals come in and everything is pretty much the same sound wise until near the end of the song. The coolest part of this song happens toward the end when this big instrumental part happens. It’s just this cool guitar melody and the drums, pounding bass line and more space noises for the last minute of the song.
On this album my favorite song was the last song “2015”. Lyrically this song stood out, the way it was sung and the feel of the song. The style of the song reminded me of older music, like from the 50’s. The vocals were strong on this song and that added to the style of the song. What stood out the most about this song though were the lyrics. The lyrics “2015 felt vacant” stood out the most because I’ve never heard someone describe something like that. Good lyrics are an important element in a song because that usually means that a lot of thought went into the song.
Having never heard of this guy before, I was impressed and plan on listening to more of his stuff.
Good music is hard to find sometimes but these 2 albums prove that Orange County is still cranking out good music and good vibes.
Check the tunes out here: https://pacificnature.bandcamp.com/releases