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February 3rd, 2009
Tuesday reviewsday: Three more bands

By SARAH STEVENS
Scene Reporter

We present three more recordings this week, by three local artists.

Kallisti Gold
Kallisti Gold

Any fans of Sublime are bound to find something on this album that strikes their fancy. The laid-back dub groove backed up by various horns and melodic vocals is a shining example of what Kallisti Gold is capable of in the studio.

The head-count for Kallisti Gold has been known to shift from time to time, and each member is able to switch instruments as the situation demands. Core members Matt Tolman, Anthony Carlin, Cory Johnson, and Paul Adams are joined by a few friends on this CD, including members James Brettell and John McGee. Other musicians appearing are Adam Young, Fred Wilrich, Mario Salas, Rogelio Escobar, and the enigmatic figure referred to simply as Pickles is credited with the fiddle work.

Kallisti Gold’s sound is uniformly mellow, though some songs are decidedly more upbeat and rock inspired than others. Catchy surf-rock songs like ‘Waiting For You’ are balanced out by slower grooves like ‘Sarah’ and ‘The Garden.’ Each track has an undertone of funky synth sounds playing around a steady bassline that sets toes a’tapping and heads bobbing.

The band mates switch off lead vocals throughout the album, and harmonize on backups through most of the songs, lending a haunting quality to tracks like ‘Squay Dum’ and ‘Flowers.’

Kallisti Gold is an outspoken supporter of “smoking’ weed every day,” and this CD is just what one would expect of an album that sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a day spent lazing by the river with a few beers and friends, soaking up the sun and sounds.

Brett Crenshaw
Another Late Night

Brett Crenshaw is a country musician in the same vein as some of the older big-name pop Country musicians like Dwight Yoakum and Garth Brooks. His strident and catchy songs fill the typical Country mold without breaking it, and yet retain an individual identity in their own right.

With the obligatory fiddle weaving its sad melody around the steady backbeat, “Another Love Song” is representative of Crenshaw’s traditional take on modern Country.

“Another Late Night” is an album that is light enough that it can be played through and enjoyed all at once, or taken in song by song. The tracks flow well together, and Crenshaw maintains a continuously recognizable sound in each.

While many songs sound like they were just meant to be danced to, Crenshaw also slows it down in lamenting ballads, including a duet, “Maybe It’s Best,” featuring guest vocalist Fallon Franklin.

Crenshaw’s country-boy roots are evident in many of his songs, most especially home-town anthems like “Cuttin’ Loose” and “Back Country Road.”

Country music aficionados are sure to get a kick out of “Life In A Country Song,” with its nods to many stereotypical Country references, including a line saying that “all my exes live in Texas.”

Traditional values and a down-home upbringing come out in Crenshaw’s album, the inset thanks read, “First and foremost God for giving us the ability and blessings to do what we do,” and he wraps up this work with the song “Up In Heaven,” a ballad about the ones we’ve lost and the after-life.

For more on Brett Crenshaw, visit www.brettcrenshaw.com

The Word Association
Lucid

San Marcos’ own Word Association plies hip-hop craft with skill throughout this album, stringing words along over various steady beats and crazy samples. Any fans of good Hip-Hop music who want to try out some local flavors need to get a hold of this album. Word Association makes it easy by offering it for free to anyone who wants to download it from the label, Collage Records, at www.collagerecords.com.

The intro to this album samples quotes and soundtracks from old TV programs, then drops the beat and the lyrics like a splash of cold water on the face. Sick poetry flows from each of the members of this motley crew of DJs and vocalists as readily as it ever came from any of the big-name Hip Hop legends like LL Cool J and Run DMC, with tag-team songs and polished production by Mnolo and Anechca.

The Word Association is made up of more than seven individuals, and every one of them brings his own poetry and sense of musical style. For all their different styles, the product of meshing their sounds together is an amazingly coherent album. “Lucid” covers the full range of Hip-Hop’s various faces, with each MC representing his own background and rhythm. Many of the songs on this album feature a few vocalists at once, backed up by one member or another on the turntables sampling in a heavy beat and strange sounds to punctuate the lyrical flows. From start to finish, “Lucid” stays fresh and direct, an unabashed tribute to the beat and the rhymes.

The first Saturday of every month, the Word Association can be found at The Triple Crown performing a show with proceeds going to local charities. To check Word Association out on the web, go to www.thewordassociation.net.

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