Why would two people from sunny San Diego feel compelled to sing the blues? This is a question pondered while listening to the debut LP from Little Hurricane, a Southern California duo specializing in hulky guitar riffs. Homewrecker is hard-hitting but never hard to listen to – their timeworn blues plays with the magic formula of comforting familiarity plus refreshingly original.
Of course, its hard to talk about Little Hurricane without at least mentioning the White Stripes a comparison that the duo invites with Crocodile Tears. Guitarist Anthony Tone Catalano and drummer Celeste CC Spina face off vocally, with Spinas voice bearing an eerie resemblance to that of her rhythmic predecessor Meg White. But these kids arent trying to emulate as much as pay homage, and they boldly update the Stripes’ game for the new decade. Catalano sets the tone for the rest of the album early on with one feisty line: Keep on running, youre going nowhere.
Theres plenty here to soothe an aching heart, though. Shortbread is slow-burning, with Spina and Catalano once again showcasing their back-and-forth vocal delivery. Theres also enough emotion spinning around the record, but its never bogged down by too much sweetness. You can write me a love song/you can love me all you want, Catalano sings, with just the right dose of conviction to knock you over. Hurricane, indeed.
While theres no escaping their rock and blues roots, these two employ enough of pop sensibility to keep things interesting. At times, the sound is confined by studio walls, as though these songs are caged, just waiting to get outside. Little Hurricane are no doubt headed for the festival circuit to play high-energy tracks like Haunted Heart to young whippersnappers who are eager to find the next big thing before the rest of the internet does.
Essential Tracks: Crocodile Tears, Shortbread, and Haunted Heart