Catching up with bands like Hate Drugs, which is releasing its new album “Tsunami Soul I” on Friday, reminds me why I enjoy the anticipation of the new release date reminder on my calendar, a feeling all music freaks will understand. However, these days it takes a special band to have that effect with the inundation of music streaming via curated playlists, mostly paid for by the last remaining major labels acting as robotic tastemakers.
Which brings us back to the excitement surrounding the local release of “Tsunami Soul I," the band's long-awaited follow-up to 2017's “Tsunami Soul II."
“These albums ('Tsunami Soul I and II') are two parts of the same story," said lead vocalist David Caploe. "Both albums were designed to be listened to as part of a meta cohesive work of art while retaining their autonomy as individual phases of a cycle.”
Noting the album has a "large creative footprint," Caploe said the songs are a mix of those created in the demo process along with others written years ago.
“The intention for this album was to create a warmer and more saturated environment for the listener to immerse themselves, and hopefully, capture the sound of the band in a more honest way. We tracked all of the instruments and vocals digitally and then ran each individual stem through tape, in order to pull out the sonic color and allow the pieces to breathe.
"There was also a significant difference in the amount of editing we did on this album. The takes are much more raw, and there is a humanity to that I feel added a special quality to the album.”
After opening with the minute-long intro of “Drowsy”, the album’s second track “Out of Touch” with its Motown-inspired beat has a great, soulful bounce. Followed up by “Drive Me Crazy,” released last year as a primer for the album, the tropical pop of “Saint Joe” shows off another potent songwriting side to the band, while the maturity of “GHST” ranks as one of album’s best moments, with a special appearance by Bakersfield saxophonist Isaiah Morfin in the mix.
“I really love working with creative people and working with Isaiah has always been exciting and inspiring,” said Caploe. "He’s so talented, and open to wild ideas. I brought him in at the tail end of the project. He came over to my house, I shared my vision with him, and he just popped in and killed it.”
After the album release on Friday, the band keeps up the momentum with its first show of the year headlining the Teragram Ballroom in Los Angeles on Feb. 8.
Caploe said, “Most of the fans that we have made have found us through the powerful connective nature of social media and music streaming platforms, but through touring, we’ve been able to turn these fans into family. And this family is bigger than the music. It’s fostered friendships and impacted people in ways that will outlive the songs.”
Local fans don’t fret, there are plans for a local release party sometime in late February or early March, before the group heads back to the SXSW Conference & Festivals in Austin and more touring.
“Tsunami Soul I” by Hate Drugs can be downloaded and streamed at digital outlets beginning Friday. For more information, visit thehatedrugs.com.
Bones of Brundage
After making its online debut in December, independent Bakersfield music documentary “Bones of Brundage” can now be purchased and or rented for viewing now by visiting reelhouse.org/thumbscrewsmedia.
In just under two hours, veteran Bakersfield music promoter Nate Berg takes viewers on a trip through the dirty, sweaty mosh pits of Bakersfield’s underground beginning in the mid-1980s as bands like Burning Image, Primer Grey and Big Jed & The Flatbeds helped establish the punk rock music and culture and brave young show promoters shook up the conservative streets of Bakersfield during the Reagan era. Jumping back and forth between the '80s to the early 2000s, “Bones of Brundage” also features interviews with a number of key figures from the various eras sharing their war stories.
Many locals, especially those who actively participated in the music and social scenes featured, will recognize plenty of now-defunct venues such as Bam Bams, Roller Towne, plus a quick glimpse of tattered Fox Theater (they hosted the occasional punk show), and more. A cool mix of rare video from a selection of old Jerry’s Pizza shows and grainy gig photos also get sentimental high points.
Lots of ground to cover and certainly not enough room to include it all at 120 minutes, but still a fun skank down memory lane to be shared with old homies and tall cans of cheap brew.
According to Berg, “Bones of Brundage” is currently being re-cut for theatrical release as it will be hitting the festival circuit this year. For more information and to share your recollections, visit facebook.com/bonesbrundage.
Rod P & Nu Standard, 7 p.m. Friday, Jerry’s Pizza & Pub, 1817 Chester Ave. Free. 633-1000.
Drummer Rodrick Pleasants and crew hold court upstairs at Jerry’s attracting everyone from passers-by to punk rockers to enjoy a mix of R&B classics and radio hits for a First Friday dance party too hard to resist. Backed by a killer band that includes vocalist Jehdiah Woodrow, bassist Nick Bonner and guitarist Marcus Jenkins, a funky good time is guaranteed. Don’t forget to check out the new full bar for bonus points.