Photo by James BunoanFIFTH STORY TENANTS
"NO DEFINITION"/"JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE RICH" 45 RPM VINYL SINGLE UNITY SQUAD RECORDS
While the Replacements and Jonathan Richman are still sloshing around in this too-under-the-radar Long Beach trio (but not so hidden they couldn't find their way onto an OC Weekly local-band compilation CD a couple of years back), the proportions—and the chemistry—have changed since their full-length three years ago. Someone turned up the rock & roll, and now the Fifth Story Tenants play the same game the early Replacements did, tempering punk bite and looseness (which is a lot different from sloppiness!) with a casually calculated pop sensibility—basically, that means they can still get new life out of old chords, and they're not all prissy and pretentious about it, either. These two songs are put together out of as many immaculately crafted individual parts as your finer sports cars, but they keep all the flash hidden under the hood: it's a credit to the band—especially for a three-piece—that everything fits together so seamlessly. A-side "No Definition" might be the Only Ones if they grew up somewhere a lot tougher, and B-side "Just Because You're Rich" trumps the A-side—establishing something of a pattern for recent Unity Squad singles—with catchy, just-off-enough-to-be-on vocals and a happily spontaneous energy that doesn't flag for a second. This might end up being a sleeper single, but it's really one of the strongest local releases we've heard this year. Keep it up, kids: today the fifth story; tomorrow the world!
OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.
Check out this week's featured ad for Entertainment