Local Licks

This week, we review Pfiffin, the Audiophiles, Calaveras, and Crooked Roads.

Pfiffin, Morningstar. A worthy first step into the unforgiving waters of instrumental- and post-rock. Many try, but only a few truly succeed at the amalgam of rock instrumentation and pseudo-classical structure (see Explosions in the Sky). Pfiffin is at least headed in the right direction. (self-released)

The Audiophiles, Run Away EP. The Audiophiles, composed of San Francisco high school students, deserve to play for more than just teenage audiences. After debuting at Bottom of the Hill last May, the quartet is on the verge of breaking beyond the all-ages scene. Its second EP is a fun, four-song set with tastes of punk, country, ska, and alt-rock. (self-released)

Calaveras, Green Girl. Calaveras’ jam-friendly folk would sound best from the lawn of a sun-soaked outdoor festival. On record, the experience is somewhat muted — but not lost in translation. The Lafayette trio plays with plenty of spirit, especially on a song like “Club Paradise,” though subsequent track “Driving Him Away” is overly mellow and melodramatic. (Fennel & Mustard Records)

Crooked Roads, Put Your Faith in Me. A collection of sleepy modern folk and light country with few selling points beyond notable players pedal steelist Peter Siegel (Commander Cody) and guitarist Larry Otis (Ike & Tina Turner). Beyond that it’s a low-profile, all-professional affair with the right pieces in the right places. (self-released) 

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