When singer/songwriter Daniel Morones gets ahold of a good thing, he goes with it. A recovering punk rocker who never found a need to move from Orange County, Morones has moved on from thrash and angst-riddled defiance and grown into a rather sophisticated artist with his second album, The Situation. He places strong emphasis on chord structure and lyrics. Although it was quickly recorded in a two-week stint, The Situation shows no signs of half-assery. Morones uses this seven-song album to show off his natural penchant for rich, multilayered compositions. “Modern Day Workin’ Class Blues” starts as a soft, raspy, Western-inspired ode to the despondency of lives spent within cubicle walls before turning into a harmonized sing-along. With a flourish of Latin influences, the title track bursts with sultry riffs and satin voices. Morones’ compositions—which range from ’60s surf rock to acoustic Bad Religion covers—are a small sampling of his immense range (and picking style: he was trained as a classical guitarist). By the way, said Bad Religion cover, “Sorrow,” is nowhere as cheesy as you might expect—instead, it’s a stripped-down serenade that proves to be both emotive and hauntingly beautiful.
Attention Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, along with your vital contact info and decent high-resolution photos (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 email@example.com.