Watergate Sandals

Download: Mixtape: New Music from Santa Cruz’s Best Bands (Podcast #367)

The Thrills once said, “Santa Cruz, you’re not that far” — a statement far truer for San Franciscans than for a band from Dublin, Ireland — but the truth is, the Santa Cruz music scene has always felt a little remote, tethered to the Bay Area by that treacherous Highway 17. That feeling of distance isn’t for a lack of talent, mind you: from Camper Van Beethoven and Comets on Fire through The Devil Makes Three, Battlehooch, and Mammatus, plenty of great bands have emerged from Santa Cruz over the years. Credit that in large part to a steady stream of creative young people flocking to UC Santa Cruz, performing in venues like The Crepe Place and The Catalyst at shows curated by people like Bane Shows and (((folkYEAH!))).

In other words, it might be a surprise to hear a wide-ranging set of compelling Santa Cruz acts in this mixtape, but it certainly shouldn’t be. The set collects over a dozen bands from Santa Cruz, from the hardcore-meets-metal of Leucrota to the dusty folk and Americana of Marty O’Reilly and The Painted Horses. Unsurprisingly, garage and surf-rock sounds are represented here, with strong melodies tagging Babewatch, Watergate Sandals, and Jackie Zealous as a cut above the norm. On the more electronic side of things, bask in the dreamy, shoegaze-inspired textures of Them Are Us Too, and bounce along with the compelling art-pop of Dead Recipe.

The mix covers a lot of ground, but it’s sure to reveal some new bands well worth checking out.

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Track Listing:

Adult School – “Critter”
Babewatch – “Atlas Shroomed”
Dead Recipe – “Suzi Forbes”
Them Are Us Too – “Us Now”
Leucrota – “Never Again”
Modern Needs – “Mutator”
Watergate Sandals – “Jewels and Gems”
Pigeon Pit – “Tall Black Trees”
Marty O’Reilly – “Dempsey”
Pyromids – “TIME is so scary”
Jackie Zealous – “Talk It”
Tony Tricks – “Birds”
The Painted Horses – “In The Garden”