L.A.-based quartet Pacific Radio have hit the music scene with their first EP, “Kitchen Table,” a short but upbeat album that introduces the area to the bands’ indie rock vibe. Although the band sites older influences, including The Rolling Stones and The Replacements, their sound is more reminiscent of the U.K. band Moose Blood but with more of a country twang in the vocals.
Unlike Moose Blood, however, Pacific Radio has a much clearer punk base, no doubt a remnant from vocalist Joe Robinson and bassist Joe Stiteler’s time in garage-punk band The Ringers. Focusing on fast guitar riffs and raunchy lyrics, “Tight Jeans” highlights this best with a “kick your ass with this power chord” attitude. The track is certainly a testament to the power of a good pair of jeans and one night stands, relying heavily on Hyke Shirinian’s drum beat to thrust the song forward. Even though the track ends hot and heavy, it starts on a whimper, with a blend of distorted piano notes and whispers that really add nothing to the track. Despite a few mixing issues, “Tight Jeans,” is definitely still the track’s heaviest hitter.
The title track, “Kitchen Table,” and “Katie,” take the album on a more somber turn without sacrificing any of the band’s energy. Both tracks talk about love and heartbreak but manage to capture different vibes. Where “Kitchen Table” is mourning for a broken relationship (and a broken tape deck), “Katie” is exalting, with Robinson crooning to the girl with the “switchblade smile” rather than the “blondie” who ruined his tape deck. Guitarist Kyle Biane’s quick upstrokes mix with the tambourine to create an upbeat and joyful track that set “Katie” apart from the rest of the album.
Despite a few mixing issues, Kitchen Table gives audiences a glimpse at Pacific Radio’s potential. No doubt they’ll work out the kinks while working on their first full-length album with Grammy nominated sound engineer, Eric Weaver. Until then, however, the band is focusing on promoting their EP and music video, linked below (just don’t watch it at work if you don’t want your co-workers to see Robinson’s spotted underwear).
Top Track: “Katie”
Verdict: For a band that only solidified its lineup two years ago, Kitchen Table is an absolutely stellar EP. The album goes fast and but not hard, leaving the listener pumped up and ready for more. While the chord progressions and drum track blend well with Robinson’s vocals, the lyrics just don’t hit as hard as the rhythm, focusing on the same themes as every other indie rock band (girls, heartbreak and getting out of this town) and ultimately make the album feel a little impersonal. Still, Kitchen Table provides tantalizing first taste of what Pacific Radio can do, and I, for one, can’t wait for more.