August 30th, 2015 | Album reviews

SoCal Tennis Pros

SoCal Tennis Pros’ self-titled full-length is high-energy Latin punk at its best, with ten hard-hitting tracks full of subtle surprises. It has a very distinct flavor that sets it apart in many ways from most of the bands doing this type of music. For one, the level of musicianship is of a much higher caliber than you’d expect from typical garage-punker hooligans. The chord progressions are more complex, the rhythms are tightly woven together with dramatic change-ups, and the production reaches a level of professionalism you almost never hear for this type of group, thanks to the involvement of Grammy Award-winning Long Beach icon Ikey Owens (of The Mars Volta, Jack White’s band and of course Free Moral Agents) who recorded, produced, mastered, and even played on a few of the tracks. “Tap Water House” is one of my favorites and starts the record off with blaring guitars and screaming vocals mixed together in a melodic style reminiscent of bands like Gorilla Biscuits and early Turbonegro. “Lionessa” is another gem with Latin-sounding keyboard and very catchy lyrics. There are a few slower jams that smooth the gnar a bit and a lot the singing is in Spanish as well. I’m really keeping my fingers crossed that this makes it to vinyl!

—Desi Ambrozak