If you search for albums tagged "San Diego" on Bandcamp, you'll find some interesting stuff. In this semi-regular column, we sift through recent Bandcamp postings and report on our findings.
Hand Drawn Tree, The Emerald Tree: The guitar that opens this EP feels just slightly out of tune and, coupled with the reverb and effects that follow, makes for some disorienting sounds. That said, Hand Drawn Tree's folky pop music is fairly conventional indie fare. It's pleasant enough, but they're just not there yet.
All My Wishes Were Thrown Down a Well and Will Die There, In Hopes of a New Tomorrow: Talk about a mouthful! The band's name is almost longer than this record, which mostly comprises raw screamo hardcore. It's lo-fi, but the passion and intensity win me over, and all proceeds go to support the Eric Garner Family Support Fund. Bravo, AMWWTDAWAWDT.
L-Tec, P A X_M U N D A N A: Every time I do this, I seem to find a new local beatmaker doing some cool things, and L-Tec is another one worth paying attention to. This release is a heady mix of crackly jazz loops, psychedelic effects and hard-hitting boom-bap—with an occasional Busta Rhymes sample (at least I think that's Busta). Only about half of this is available to stream for free, which should be incentive enough to drop a few dollars once the rest goes up.
Humanzee, Mincing to the Gore: Grindcore isn't a genre that gets by on hooks or melody—generally anything that isn't straight-up brutality. There are exceptions (Nasum, Pig Destroyer), but Humanzee isn't one of them. Only two tracks on this release are more than a minute long, and none of them seems to have any lyrics beyond guttural, unintelligible grunts. It's nothing but primal aggression, which is probably cathartic, but I can't see ever wanting to listen to this.
Heather Exner, In Between EP: This is a fairly straightforward EP comprising covers of songs by Fleetwood Mac and Rihanna, just to name two. And it's not bad for what sounds like a home-recorded set of acoustic tunes, though it's not remarkable. Exner's take on "We Found Love" isn't half bad.