The Numbers Game
Orange County has a significant Asian population—16.05 percent, according to 2006 Census numbers—but that isn’t really reflected in the local music scene. Or American popular music in general, really. Young Asian American rock fans have only a few stray Karen Os and James Ihas to look up to while growing up, comforting themselves with having the “virtuoso cellist” market cornered. So the mere presence of Twentyfour64 (whose six members are of East Asian, Filipino and Hawaiian descent) is refreshing, even if they only moved to Southern California from Hawaii in the summer of 2007.
Of course, none of this would matter if their music weren’t any good. In the chorus of “Taking Over,” the opening track on their debut full-length, Know Me, lead singer Junior Tubera informs us that “Gently, we are taking over, seeping through your conscience.” Pretty bold words, as well as an apt description of Twentyfour64’s stealthy sonic approach. Instead of taking the easy route of big, poppy hooks, their songs burn slowly and unfold gradually, as heard in the steady build of the six-and-a-half-minute-long “A Season.”
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Twentyfour64’s official band biography describes their music as a “fusion of R&B vocals with driving rock,” but early in the record, the use of “R&B” seems off, especially given the current state of that genre. Tunes such as “Free and Captured” feature smoother singing than a lot of rock bands, yes, but it’s a long way from Mary J. Blige. In getting deeper into the album, especially “Drowning in Shallow Love,” the influence becomes much more palpable—all the way to closing track “Secret Embers,” which caps the transition with a bona-fide hip-hop guest-vocalist spot (what’s more R&B these days than that?) from an artist named JHolley.
Twentyfour64 with Sound the City at the Slidebar, 122 E. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton, (714) 871-2233; www.myspace.com/theslidebar. Tues., 7 p.m. Free. Visit Twentyfour64 online at www.myspace.com/twentyfour64.