As frontman of the band Of Ennui, Brian Strauss spends a lot of his time making music that’s loud and heavy. The band’s sound is dense and physical, a hybrid of effects-heavy shoegaze music in the vein of Slowdive and crushing doom metal influenced by the likes of Boris. It’s exactly the sort of band that I like to see live, in person, with the volume cranked. - Jeff TerichRead More
Formed in 2015 by Christian Cate and Brian Strauss, both on guitar and vocals, the band is rounded out by Indigo Machado on drums, and Angus Garcia on bass. Although they credit several influences of different genre’s, such as punk rock artists Jawbreaker and iconic shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine, an element of each group really shines through on their debut EP, All Things Bad & Mean. - Kyla WyllieRead More
Change is good. If nothing changes, then it certainly can’t get any better. After more than a decade of listening to local bands’ submissions in a marathon session for the annual Great Demo Review, we’re making some improvements. Bands still make demos, and bands still send them to us, but the state of music in 2018 is such that those demos are, more often than not, the releases that end up being heard by the public. Instead of meticulously prepping songs in pre-studio sessions, bands are self-recording and immediately posting their music to sites such as Bandcamp and Soundcloud, cutting out the middleman entirely. Then again, a lot of bands simply don’t bother with the step of making a demo, and end up sending us their finished, studio-quality recordings. And we’d hate to overlook those submissions just because they’re not technically a “demo,” whatever that is anymore.
—Jeff TerichRead More
Why do we do it? Why do we gather dozens, sometimes hundreds of local demos each year, and listen to each and every one, sometimes only to end up receiving a lot of angry emails and letters about the results?
The answer is simple: It’s because we give a shit about local music. That might not sound so convincing if you had your demo slammed by one of our writers, but it’s true. We want San Diego to be a place people think of when they think of good music. And so every year we like to take the temperature of the city’s music scene and offer our own remedies for the areas that might be a bit ailing.
We received 102 demos this year, a dropoff in submissions that I’m going to go ahead and blame Donald Trump for but by no means a small number, and we reviewed all of them. Many of them were excellent—those we dub EXTRASPECIALGOOD, as we’ve done in past years. A handful of them we definitely didn’t like; we hope those artists will take it as constructive criticism or at least have a sense of humor. Most were between the two extremes, usually pretty good, but sometimes in need of a tweak. But I can definitely say that while we can only give away so many EXTRASPECIALGOOD designations, San Diego sounds pretty good this year. Here’s to hoping that 2018 can keep up the streak.
—Jeff TerichRead More