(La Bella and Jack Shirley at The Atomic Garden, photo by Daniel Torres)

After three years of radio silence, politically charged, jazz-infused groove punks La Bella are preparing for their first proper full length LP. Ides was recorded and produced by Jack Shirley (Atomic Garden), a Bay Area recording engineer and musician whose clout has grown steadily over the last few years, with releases like Deafheaven's Sunbather and Joyce Manor's Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired, highlighting his unique ability to capture the visceral energy that is so often left out of the studio.


(John of La Bella, photo by Daniel Torres)

Ides is 8 tracks of La Bella's breakneck speed, rhythm heavy punk, combining Los Angeles hardcore sensibility with Northwest experiments. I'm really into the guitar tone on this record - really jazzy and clear, but Andy's violent attack gives it a biting edge. John (bass) and Daniel (drums) lock up on some really interesting changes, giving the relentless tempo a moment to breath, while Cameron maintains an emotive snarl throughout.

"Thrush", premiered here today, is the record's second track, opening with a dancey, off kilter, sliding riff before breaking into La Bella's favored fast beat. The lyrics are confrontational and political, the band self-identifying as 'punk for your head', and live shows featuring vocalist Cameron Hughes punctuating the end of a song with screams of "No Human is Illegal".

The group aren't just talk though, they're some of the main individuals behind one of So Cal's more active DIY spaces, La Puente's Bridgetown DIY. After planting the seeds for a stronger So Cal scene, the foursome went separate ways, with members living all up and down the west coast, from Berkeley to Portland to Seattle. The band is back together to present Ides, and it's their best statement yet. It'll be released this winter by the band and a new label called Sombras Del Progreso, with a supporting tour taking them back to the Bay around then. It'll be a rare Bay appearance, so catch 'em while you can.

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