Set to drop July 19, 2011, Old Californio’s Sundrunk Angels is the third studio album from the Pasadena, California quintet. Their sound is an eclectic blend of country, rock, folk, and psychedelic rock that is reminiscent of bands like the Grateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Gram Parsons Flying Burritos. The label Americana fits this band as snug as a pair of Jim Morrison’s leather pants. Their songs range from radio friendly under four minute tunes to over six minute extended jams. The songs are lyrically poetic without obfuscation or being intentionally ambiguous to the point of seeming nonsense. The music is fluid and malleable and flows naturally along the path of the song entwining effortlessly with the lyric creating perfectly flowing rivers of sound and pools of shimmering melodic brilliance.
Track number three, “Better Yet,” is a New Riders or Grateful Deadesque tune that makes one feel like throwing on a tie dye, lighting up some nag champa, and breaking out the hooka for a good smoke with an old friend. The song rambles on like an old steam engine slowly building speed until it hits the harmonies of the chorus and blows through intersections of the conscious and unconscious mind only to continue its trek unfettered. “Allon Camerado” is another stand out song that begins with an eerie riff which sets up the verse, chorus, and bridge sections perfectly with their jangly and otherworldly sounding guitar work. The song’s lyrics seem to be a challenge for someone to leave the monotony of a boring town and life behind and to come out on the road and live the life of a vagabond artist free from the shackles of expectations and conformity. The country and folk inspired “Unsatisfied” is another excellent song complete with superb melodic vocal delivery, angelic harmonies, and the lonesome sound of a harmonica contrasting the finger-style guitar work and its steady pacing. The lyrics to this song are unlike the story telling style of other songs on the album and are more like a cathartic chant meant to soothe a restless soul.
Old Californio: Sundrunk Angels is a splendiferous addition to the already impressive Old Californio catalogue. Fans of country, blues, folk, rock, psychedelic rock, and americana music will absolutely dig this album and should immediately add it to their collection. While there is nothing extremely innovative or avant-garde about this album it is a solid example of the, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” philosophy. Old Californio, furthermore, has found their musical niche and they continue to produce music that is creative and at the same time sounds like an old friend that’s returned from years of traveling with plenty of good times and stories to share. For more information about Old Californio, to buy their music, or check on upcoming shows visit them at http://www.oldcalifornio.com/. You can also find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Californio/107842765585.