Beat Blvd. is Heard Mentality's weekly review of local releases. If you're an OC musician or band with something new to offer--vinyl single, full length album, CD, cassette--we want to hear from you! Send copies, along with any photos and PR material, to Beat Blvd., c/o OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Suite 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can also e-mail us digital downloads at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long Beach duo Codpiece, consisting of Casey, Eric and whatever instruments they'd like to do something with, have been releasing songs for a couple of years now. With their new digital double single, they go even further in showing they've got a sound that can't quite be pinned down as one thing or another.
"Amigos" is a bit of a blindsider in an intriguing way, a steel guitar-laden bit of wistful melancholia that manages to get away with its country-goes-to-the-border aesthetic like a more sober minded (and less fratricidal) version of Ween's "Buenos Tardes Amigo."
In notable contrast is "Connie," exchanging one version of West Coast romanticism for another in favor of tightly wound synth-rock arrangements and yearning for the titular character in question, something not quite old style KROQ but drawing some sharp inspiration from it regardless. Both songs are engaging without being next level breakthroughs--at least not quite yet. In a time when someone like Brandon Flowers is turning his own New Wave-meets-Old West fixation into annoying "Hey I'm middle aged in Vegas and I'm sad now" irrelevancy, though, it's nice to see a band put their own stamp on the mixed sonic and cultural legacy of the Southwest. Both songs, as well as their earlier EPs, can be purchased via their Bandcamp site