By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Long Beach trio Codpiece's five-track EP Epic Code (Loma) is like a calling card for the band's myriad styles, some of which are better executed than others (no surprise there). The delicately beautiful xylophone and fuzz-guitar intro of "I Know" leads into one of those Jesus and Mary Chain-channeling-Lee Hazlewood, just-rolled-outta-bed ballads. It's a wonderfully touching, goosebump-inducing start to the disc. The tempo increases dramatically with "Whenever I'm With You": Its galloping rhythm, surging, motorboat-guitar roughage and Jim Reid-meets-Joey Ramone sneer will practically put you into a black-leather jacket and torn blue jeans while you're listening to it, such is its quintessential rock & rollness.
Meanwhile, "They'll Dine on Your Remains" bears the anthemic tunefulness and color-outside-the-borders enthusiasm of Mission of Burma. The moody, tempestuous rock of "Your Hair Don't Care" nods its artfully coiffed head to Pyschedelic Furs, with quiet/loud dynamics and plenty of tom-tom thumping, creating beaucoup drama. Epic Code (an anagram of Codpiece, language fans) concludes with "No, We'll Never Know," a euphoric Buzzcocksian stampede with swooping, glam-rock melodic contours.
I realize that I just dropped a lot of musicians' names in a review of a 19-minute EP, but it's common for young bands to lack a certain nuance in camouflaging their influences. Codpiece—Brian LePien (drums), Casey Lombardo (vocals, guitar) and Eric Villicana (bass, vocals)—deserve to be cut some slack, though, because their influences are all quality, they generate cool guitar sounds, and their songwriting chops are highly developed for newcomers. Over time, Codpiece will likely shed their obvious debts to other groups and craft a more distinctive sound.
Codpiece perform with Geisert 8 at Que Sera, 1923 E. Seventh St., Long Beach, (562) 599-6170; www.thequesera.com. Wed., 9 p.m.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and a decent high-resolution photo (plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only,OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or just be lazy and e-mail your MySpace link to firstname.lastname@example.org.