The instant appeal of Youth Cattle (not pictured) is the sense that all their cards are on the table. They aren't the next gods of rock and roll. They aren't idols. They aren't the musical geniuses of the surf pop or lo-fi genres. They are just another Southern California band with simple songs about life's highs and lows.
But the more you listen to their demo tracks, the more you start to question whether calling them "just another" anything suffices. For those of us with any knowledge of Cali's music demographics, you have seen other bands emerge quickly from the Southland, earning favor amongst radio airwaves and audiences alike: Foster the People, Local Natives, Young the Giant, and Fitz and the Tantrums are some of the first that come to mind. And if those groups are any indication of what LA is producing, Youth Cattle is an ideal candidate for national recognition.
Both their music and their persona strike a strange balance between many things. Frontman Kam Andresen sings each song with a listless fervency, if somehow that is possible. His voice bellows in a tempered and steady manner that isn't often found in the upbeat tracks of even the most popular artists in their genre. His lyrics are also tend to be more imaginative and poignant than what most lo-fi surf pop groups serve up, though they convey the same simple and honest sentiments about life and love.
Andreson's strong, tremolo-ish voice is what makes each song. But then again, it isn't. Because if you listen to the concrete basslines and the clean drum work in any of their tracks, you'll notice that when his voice isn't featured, the instrumentals alone could carry the song forever. "Summer" meanders with direction from a wooly hi-hat and brazen guitar riffs. "Girls" blissfully ebbs and flows with bold snares and playful grooves. To call the guitar melodies "catchy" would be to sell them short. They're methodical but still manage to be lively, retaining that same endearing sense of listlessness.
This Fullerton-based band has grown tremendously in popularity in local venues throughout the LA/OC area, not only gaining residency at the Avalon but highly coveted spots to play alongside Best Coast and The Morning Benders at Pasadena's Make Music Festival this past June. So when I say these fellows are not the gods of anything, it's only a matter of time before they are.
Go hound them for a full LP:
[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/937985" params="show_comments=false&auto_play=false&show_playcount=true&show_artwork=true&color=000000" width="100%" height="215" ] Demos by youthcattle