While the name of energetic new wave rockers California Wives might be a misnomer--the band actually consists of four men currently stationed in Chicago--the quartet captures the freewheeling California ethos highly effectively. Listening to "Purple," a standout track from the band's debut album Art History, elicits the same sensation as finally escaping the oppressive traffic of a major freeway, discovering an unpopulated strip of highway, and attempting to break the sound barrier, all while the Golden State's oh-so famous sunshine cascades your vehicle. The track begins with righteous, furiously strummed guitar complemented by a thick bassline and a snappy drumbeat before entering the first verse where softly spoken vocals replace the guitars. One would think that this verse would seem lesser in comparison to the song's enthusiastic intro but in fact the drop in intensity actually creates a sort of gliding effect, ensuring that the brief respite of energy offers its own variety of endorphins. The song continues it's melodic progression of rise and fall much like a roller coaster for its entirety, matching the fun of any amusement ride of I've ever been on.
California Wives' debut LP entitled Art History can be purchased now via Vagrant Records.