Local Licks 

This week, we review Loquat, Comfy Chair, the Action Design, and the Privies.

Loquat, Secrets of the Sea. Introduce your folks to indie-pop! Loquat's blend of electronic and acoustic instrumentation in the service of mellow music with clear character but little variation presents the perfect opportunity. Secrets of the Sea is hard not to enjoy, but perhaps only in small doses, as its insistent late-night vibe runs the risk of feeling downright plain. (Talking House)

Comfy Chair, Hello, Dali!. Vaudeville, Americana, and rock 'n' roll are the jumping-off points for this tight Bay Area trio smitten with the subtle humor of They Might Be Giants. There's a little bit of weird-for-the-sake-of-weird, though it rarely gets in the way, and over the course of 72 packed minutes, Comfy Chair asserts its allegiance not to geeky gimmickry but to music itself. (Flaming Pie Productions)

The Action Design, Never Say. After a pair of EPs, Emily Whitehurst and Matt McKenzie — of one-time leading local pop-punk band Tsunami Bomb — return as half of the Action Design for its debut full-length. This is by far the group's best effort yet, a short and sweet album built around Whitehurst's strong, inviting voice and trim, catchy songs without a trace of waste. (Pop Smear Records)

The Privies, You Have the Right. Nothing else to call it but grassroots garage-rock: the Privies self-produced and self-released this eleven-song debut, and singer/songwriter/guitarist Leo Stone even did the artwork. With a foundation in basic '70s rock and '00s pop-rock, the San Francisco band's endearingly amateurish sound could wield wide appeal. (self-released)


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