Local Licks 

This week, we review Pine and Battery, Solos in Stereo II compilation, the New Up, and Pat Wynn.

Pine and Battery, Pine and Battery. Solid pop-rock never goes out of style, and San Francisco's Pine and Battery plays it with panache. This 2006 debut was recently picked up for digital re-release, while its song "Southern" is in frequent rotation at KFOG and featured on the station's new Local Scene compilation. Some records go stale after two years, but this one sounds as good as ever. (self-released)

Various Artists, Solos in Stereo II. What it is: a sampler of indie-flavored hip-hop songs and beats by artists on a Bay Area label. What it isn't: entirely cohesive or consistent, or, despite being assembled and mastered in Oakland, an all-local compilation. Yao, Bookworms, DJ Enso, and Roche rep the bay, while out-of-towners Javelin and CB Radio contribute solid tracks of their own. (Solos Records)

The New Up, Broken Machine EP. This San Francisco quintet's third release starts off modestly with "Ginger Tea," but the next four songs are excellent examples of grungy, female-fronted alt-rock. ES Pitcher's vocals are deadpan when they need to be and aching otherwise; melodies are strong, but not overbearing; and compelling hooks and riffs land in all the right places. (self-released)

Pat Wynn, Singing Is Believing. Accomplished composer and performer Pat Wynn has taught private voice lessons for 28 years, specializing in helping punk and metal singers such as the Dead Kennedys' Jello Biafra keep their voices. But Singing Is Believing is her first record, and the original jazz, soul, Latin, and gospel songs vary greatly in quality. (self-released)


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