Live at the Hi Dive, the band served up no jive!
BY TIM HINELY
I first got turned on to this LA band when someone told me to check out the fabulous tune “I Can’t Wait” on their Bandcamp page. I did and I’m glad I did. Totally great, clattering pop tune like an updated version of recent (current?) New Zealand band Surf City who are basically doing an updated version of The Clean. In other words, listen now!
Their debut full-length Used to Yesterday (Slumberland Records) has spent a lot of time in my cd player these past few months so had to jump at the chance to catch them in a live setting.
Got there and found out that they were playing second which was a-ok for my tired bones (caught a few songs by the headliner American Culture and wasn’t feelin’ it).
Guitarist/vocalist Corey Cunningham used to be in another Slumberland band Terry Malts (well worth checking out if you haven’t done so) while other guitarist Chris Rosi spent time in a band called Plateaus. Along with drummer Brice Bradley and a fill-in bassist (regular bassist Jenny Moffett could not make the tour) these four put on a fabulous show for the small-ish crowd that made it out to see them.
They opened with three songs off of their limited edition 12” that was released on Spain’s Meritorio Records including “Painted Mirror,” “Working” and the totally great (previously mentioned) “I Can’t Wait.” From there they played several tunes off of their Slumberland full-lenght including the righteous title track “The Lost Song,” “Falling Down” and the the song of the summer “Waiting for Summer” (oh and “Jolly Jane” too). They ended the set with the great “Eneies” and called it a night. Again, if the Flying Nun Records scene of the 80’s was your bag then you’ll love Smokescreens.
Cunningham and Rosi are on to something here, the way their guitars tangle and then richochet off of each other, it’s like these two were meant to play together. On drums Bradley kept a steady beat and the bassist brought some cool energy to the band (and even sang lead on one tune) but it’s a shame so few people saw it. With songs this good, however, the people will come, it’ll just take some touring.