Review: Old Californio "Sundrunk Angels"

Old Californio is a band that defies generic musical labels. Indeed, with "Sundrunk Angels" the Pasadena, California band has meticulously crafted a melodic and hard driving album with spiffed-up lyrics and dazzling art-pop beats that will be surprisingly appealing to Americana, folk and country music audiences while also finding fans in other genres as well.
For about six years, the kaleidoscopic band of old friends has been making music in various forms, and the 10 song "Sundrunk Angels" was mastered and mixed by praised engineer Alfonso Rodenas and recorded live as a five piece band at a home studio.

The album begins with the easy-going "Learn To Cheat," which features bouncy lyrics and stellar production. The next track "A Cool Place In The Light" will delight fans of roots and Americana music. Country fans will also find much to love about the melodic "Better Yet."

"Dark Fire" begins with a cool New Orleans vibe that offers a superb musical hook, but it is the atmospheric title track "Sundrunk Angels" that provides a heartfelt vocal performance and achingly authentic lyrics.

The best chance for an Americana or country chart hit is "Jewels And The Dross" with an upbeat tempo and playful, witty lyrics. However, the best cut on the album is "Just  A Matter Of Time." This track is deeply satisfying and has a solid melodic payoff in the hummable chorus. This song should be carefully examined by radio program directors from a wide variety of musical genres.

The final track "Come Tomorrow" has much of the same charm and provides a pitch-perfect hopeful bookend to the 10-track album.

Old Californio's "Sundrunk Angel" is remarkable for its tight production, lyrical charm and nuanced vocal performances. However, the musicality and breadth of talent on display here is proof positive that California won't be able to keep this band to themselves for too much longer.

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