Local Licks 

This week, we review Paul Iorio, Real Blood, Love Is Chemicals, and Kat Parra.

Paul Iorio, Make a Noise! — Here we have a guy with his guitar, singing about life and its accoutrements. Iorio hits a few right notes and a few wrong ones, though the end effect is all it was meant to be. Opener "Secret" is strongest, "Headin' Down to the Cool Jerk" does Elvis, and "Waterboardin' USA" waxes political to the tune of the Beach Boys. (self-released)

Real Blood, Real Blood EP — Real Blood are rough around the edges, but that's okay because they're also young do-it-yourselfers. More glaring is a general aimlessness in the songwriting, which the Oakland trio could overcome by embracing its playful indie-rock center and building upon those New Order and Stephen Malkmus guitar lines. (self-released)

Love Is Chemicals, Song of the Summer Youth Brigade — The indie rock train keeps on chuggin', as tiny bands make tiny moves in the right direction and together maintain momentum. San Francisco's Love Is Chemicals does its part on this sophomore recording, a brooding, breezy set borrowing the best of Brit-pop and West Coast rock. (Near Earth Objects)

Kat Parra, Azucar de Amor — A bevy of romantic Latin rhythms rooted firmly in nightclub jazz, sometimes with near-pop appeal; perhaps a tad watered down, but where Parra and her band lack fire, they exude technical grace. This music is all about feeling, and Azucar de Amor feels right. (Patois Records)


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