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., Ste. 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. You can
also e-mail us digital downloads at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time and Energy
The Santa Ana based duo of Jorge Rios and Brennan Roach, formerly of Missing Since Yesterday, describe themselves as “progressive”–a genre tag that, like “alternative” before it, simultaneously means something and seemingly little at all–especially if the image of 20-minute-long Mellotron ramblings by Keith Emerson are kept in mind. But their debut EP Entertainica, name and songtitles like “Time and Energy-Mangled Soul” and “Intomaidet” aside, is short, understated and tends to reflect the kind of gentle experimentation that's followed in the wake of 21st century bedroom experimenters more apt to play Kid A than Love Beach.
What's especially engaging about Entertainica lies in Rios's singing,
a swooning falsetto that pushes the Radiohead comparison further but
avoids the lazy smarm that so many bands latched onto in Thom Yorke's
wake. Songs like “Time and Energy” itself, in its easy tempo shifting
and feeling of on-the-spot performance, showcase a light, free feeling
that crops up throughout. It's not lost in melancholy even as it stays
contemplative and considered, with a song like “Means to an End”
immediately settling into a sweet, easy ramble of swift drumming and
piano-led grace. “Bad Form” goes for a full-on disco strut and punch,
Rios's wordless backing singing swirling around his lead turn like a
If anything, more than once Time and Energy calls to mind the
underrated–and all too obscure–Butterfly Child, a UK act from the
early nineties that eschewed prevailing trends for a winningly sung,
often sonically cryptic mix of everything from understated keyboard led
songs to harsher grinding noise, content in its own hermetic universe.
If Time and Energy aren't yet as strong or distinct as that band are,
there's a sense of testing potential boundaries here that could reward
more attention as the duo chooses to continue on.