On The Bixby Knolls’ recently released full-length debut, Near & Undear, the L.A.-based foursome offer up 11 tracks that blur the lines between indie rock, psychedelia, post-punk, pop and even soulful R&B. At times spastic, surreal and schizophrenic, this is guitar-driven rock’n’roll delivered with conviction, swagger and, above all, attitude.
The band is led by L.A.-native singer/songwriter/guitarist Curt Barlage and features the talents of drummer Sammy Fayed, bassist Christian Morales and guitarist Cesar Saez De Nanclares (who relocated from Mexico City to join the band). Near & Undear was recorded at the Sound Factory in Hollywood with producer Joe Cardamone, engineer Greg Gordon (Oasis, Supergrass, The Dandy Warhols, Jet), and Mark Chaleki as mastering engineer. While the diverse sounds that reverb throughout this hypnotic debut are undoubtedly unique, The Knolls aren’t afraid to proudly wear their influences on their sleeve. Roxy Music, Kasabian, The Libertines, The Stone Roses, The Mondays, Arthur Lee & Love, Primal Scream, The Clash, The Modern Lovers, The Cramps, Joy Division and The Glimmer Twins struttin’ their stuff can all be heard echoing throughout the record’s sonic landscape, while Barlage’s voice emotes the affected themes of heartbreak and struggle heard in classic R&B and soul from the ’60s such as The Zombies, Four Tops and Nolan Porter. Perhaps Barlage’s take on the band’s sound, however, boils it down to its essence when he admits, “Our record reminds us of Bobby Gillespie and Joe Strummer in a fist fight.”
“The Bixby Knolls come on strong on Near & Undear and keep the energy red-lined for the whole album. It’s an awesome audio assault that will hopefully get this band the attention and break-out it deserves. Very Highly Recommended.” – RUST MAGAZINE
“Near & Undear is an exhilarating journey over the course of 11 songs.” – WHEN YOU MOTOR AWAY
“The Bixby Knolls‘ Near & Undear is dark, edgy rock mixed with driving anthems, all of which sound as if they could have blared out of a London pub in 1991.” – BUZZBANDS LA
“Take our word for it, this is worth further investigation.” – THE MAD MACKEREL: UK
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