California X

People living outside California tend to think California is a place inoculated to rage. Sunshine breeds sterility, it seems. Well, while there may be more breathing room along the Bay than in a Manhattan tenement, less brittle air than in a Chicago slum, more mild-mannered Googlers in a West Coast acre than in the entire swath of Baltimore, the truth is that the complacency is maddening, invigorating, combusting. The sunshine and its cults can become ecstatically infuriating. Life isn’t this sunny! Wake up, CA! You Sucker! The same thing everyday! Petrified! You Mummy! Although California X may actually be from Amherst, Maryland, they nailed their name, nailed the sound of physical ecstasy paired with emotional putridity. This writer applauds, being from Virginia at first but now lodged in the Golden State herself. There’re all kinds of afflictions, and each kind needs its own soundtrack. But truly, California aside, “Sucker” is pitch-perfect, every raucous pitch. If you’re craving guitars in these dark digital times, this may be your panacea.

The two-side single “Sucker/Mummy” became available March 12 from The Sounds of Sweet Nothing.

• California X:
• The Sweet Sounds of Nothing:

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.