Local Licks 

This week, we review Odawas, Francis Bakin, John Swerdan, and O Lucky Man!

Odawas, The Blue Depths. Ethereal and atmospheric with a hint of twang, Berkeley's Odawas answer that burning question: what would happen if Enya and My Morning Jacket got together? Flippancy aside, the material is fairly solid — if a tad indulgent and heavy-handed in its gorgeous moodiness — and could just as easily draw comparisons to Neil Young or M83's latest. (Jagjaguwar)

Francis Bakin, Conversations with Francis Bakin. This trio featuring drummer Clementine (no last name) and guitarist Gretchen Menn — longtime friends who've played together in all-female cover bands AC/DShe and Zepperella — lacks the punch and accessibility of their other projects, almost by design. Clementine moved beyond her kit to write and sing this moody, almost hookless rock album. (self-released)

John Swerdan, Vinyl Wings of Joy. Normally, one would recoil in horror at any new release touted as "a virtual tour of the 1960s musical landscape." How many projects have lived and died on just such a charge? Yet much to his credit, Berkeley artist John Swerdan turns this hackneyed prompt into a highly enjoyable and impeccably professional vision of the Beatles-centric '60s. (Slurry of Sound)

O Lucky Man!, When I Was Young I Would Type Your Name Just to See It in Front of Me EP. This emo/math-rock hybrid sways between furiously fast and almost pensive. Guitar notes fly like shrapnel from a core of crashing cymbals only to momentarily rest in the comparative calm of earnest lyrics and guitar harmonies, then erupt again unprovoked. There's a rare abundance of music in these five tracks and twelve minutes. (self-released)


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