Murrieta, California is a mysterious little city between San Diego and Riverside, probably most commonly used for coffee breaks or fill ups at local gas stations. Deep in it's murky depths (okay, I'm done making this place sound more interesting than it actually is) exists a circle of musicians creating some of the most interesting post punk goodness this side of the Rockies. Formerly known as HEY BUDDY & THE PALS, it was easy for me to write RAPID YOUTH off as a Abe Vigoda clone in one of my many five second myspace samplings I do daily, but further listens proved there was much more going on beneath the surface. Where the Vigodans excel in crafting almost unabrasive trippy post punk masterpieces, RAPID YOUTH embraces the nastiness and keeps their unashamedly catchy and sometimes beautiful songs dirty and fucked up, to the point where using AV as a reference seems almost criminal these days. There is an overwhelming dose of snotty angst in their sound, and I wouldn't be surprised if nights were spent at the Smell in it's glory days, snatching up pieces of pure punk energy and bringing them back to Murrieta to create their own fucked up sound. With releases planned on How Much Art Can You Take?, Lost Space, Paradise Vendors Inc. and Family Time, it's only a matter of time before everyone shares my own revelation: this kid's create true, honest punk rock for modern bummer times.
And what do these kids do in their spare time? Well Tyler expands on his contributions to the band with his project entitled TWIN LION. It almost seems realistic to say you could cut out what he brings to RAPID YOUTH and you'd have TWIN LION, but that's really only the start. Bouncing between garage stomp of "Creeps in the Sun" and the goth-tinged new wave of "Boring Ghosts", Tyler showcases many unique and varying ideas in about eight minutes time. While he can't cut out a CD insert to save his fucking life, he sure can craft a pop gem.
Whereas TWIN LION keeps thing bouncing from content to sad, TRUDGERS keeps shit dreary from start to finish. The real standout is "Freezing Over" which could quite possibly be my favorite song created by any of these kids. It takes the loner bedroom vibe so many tired projects aim for and interjects good, solid song writing and melody to make it memorable. Dude's influences? "Oi!, Crisis, Christian Death, Brian Eno, Rudimentary Peni, Sex Gang Children". I'd swear this kid is trying to get in my fucking pants! Some serious TSOL syndrome going on in SoCal right now. The kid's are going goth and it feels fucking good!
Last but not least is Travis' ANCIENT CRUX. Easily the most upbeat of the trio's solo projects, AC could have opened for Camper Van Beethoven or Built to Spill in the 90's and fit right in, all the while keeping his punk integrity and under the radar messethics in terms of sound and style. Nashville-style picking could get him a Gretsch endorsement, or a place in Johnny Cash or Roy Orbinson's backing band once he reaches the gates of heaven (Trudgers is going to hell, for sure. Not too sure about Twin Lion). I've heard it called "Doo Wop", but maybe we'll coin this "Don't Wop", like no wave was to new wave. Or maybe we won't.