My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Sat
    20
  • Sun
    21
  • Mon
    22
  • Tue
    23
  • Wed
    24
  • Thu
    25
  • Fri
    26
Make it Snow: A Holiday Reading Show Dec 20, 2014 The Radvocate Magazine is holding a special holiday reading show featuring Juliet Escoria, Scott McClanahan, Ryan Bradford, Lucy Tiven, Jos Charles and more. 77 other events on Saturday, December 20
 
Sordid Tales
How can so many people be wrong about something for so long?
There She Goz
Children’s center is training tiny, adorable consumers
Seen Local
City takes a slow and careful approach to the public-art gem
News
Rosemary Summers succeeded in 2013, and her parents want justice
The World Fare
Kearny Mesa Chinese place serves the best potstickers and xiao long bao in town

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Articles / Music / Soundwaves /  Black Box drops an epic local-music compilation
. . . .
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011

Black Box drops an epic local-music compilation

Solid 34-track digital release offers a look at the indie-rock scene

By Peter Holslin

Various Artists
Black Box, Vol. 2

(self-released)

If you’re looking to wrap your head around San Diego’s incestuous, ever-changing indie-rock scene, this local compilation would be a good start. Produced by Golden Hill’s Black Box Recording Studios, the digital release features 34 tracks by 33 bands (plus one highlights track), including everyone from indie-rock darlings Transfer to noise-rock freaks Kuntz.

Black Box released a 17-track volume in 2006, but this effort is much more ambitious. During the past year-and-a-half, Black Box owner Mario Quintero welcomed local bands to the studio to record a song for free; he ended up with enough music to fill three CDs. This offering isn’t totally up-to-date—several of the bands have since split, or gone on hiatus—but it still makes for a rich, exhaustive cross-section of the local scene.

San Diego’s always been a haven for aggressive bands, and the compilation shows that rawness and brutality are still common traits. While Archons serve up a bone-crushing slab of heavy metal in “Ghost of Python,” Kuntz sound genuinely insane with the dissonant guitars and creepy vocals of “Cocaine Igloo.”

Other tracks show the scene’s less-aggro side. Writer create a weird kind of urban folk with the lilting guitar, heavy drums and rough-hewn, tremolo-coated vocals of “Swamp Fire Lake.” D/Wolves manage to cross the grooves of Afropop with the theatrical technicality of prog-rock in the gripping “Galianthropy.”

Some of the best tracks are by bands that have broken up (Da Bears’ “Dinos”) or are on extended hiatus (The Paddle Boat’s “The governor is Pleased”). Seasoned locals might get misty-eyed while listening to the one by Boyscout, a short-lived four-piece that featured the talented and beloved drummer Justin Jay, who died early this year and to whom the compilation is dedicated.

Boyscout hadn’t released any material prior to this track, which is simply titled “Boyscout.” Members were busy playing in other bands, and, besides, their dual-guitar, dual-drum assault made their powerful live show the real highlight. This track finds them in top form, throwing down a triumphant riff with the aid of stomping drums and piercing horns. Capturing a good-hearted, communal ethos, it’s not only the comp’s most badass track; it could very well be an anthem for the local indie-rock scene as a whole.




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close