CD Reviews


A Horse Splashes

Chimpos are a group of musicians who are “friends who grew up in Ocean Beach in the ’70s,” and they have released their second album, A Horse Splashes. The new disc follows in the steps of the group’s 2018 Flung Like a Horse, and it is another collection of 11 good-time rockers that don’t take […]


80 Spheres & Sodium Vapor

Last June, while the world was just getting used to being quarantined, Faunch released a nine-track disc, 80 Spheres. Then, even more recently, prolific guitarist/writer/singer Andy Faunch was back with another group of songs, Sodium Vapor. His L.A. band with quirky British prog/new wave influences has a San Diego connection—Fallbrook producer/multi-instrumentalist Dave Blackburn was a […]

Jane Lui


Electro-pop singer/songwriter Jane Lui has a new album that is her debut under her new performance identity, Surrija. The former San Diego artist who now lives in L.A. wrote or co-wrote (with Albert Chiang) 11 of the 12 tracks as a concept album, inspired by the life and works of Picasso. The new disc is […]

San Diego County’s three greatest exports may be Ted Williams, Harold Land, and avocados. While most folks are familiar with the baseball Hall of Famer who crafted greatness with the Boston Red Sox, the equally gifted tenor saxophonist, Land too often is overlooked, even here in his hometown. Land was born in Houston, but his […]

Scott Samuels

Sunshine and Starlight

Scott Samuels is a San Diego singer/songwriter whose website tags his music as “powerpop.” Part of the SD scene since the late ’80s, he has been involved in several band projects, including Roxy Dioxide, Kitten Pharmacy, and other groups, including a stint in a Neil Diamond tribute act. As a solo, he has been busy, […]

Jonathan Karrant & Joshua White

Shadows Fall

Jonathan Karrant and Joshua White have teamed up for Shadows Fall, and for fans of jazz and just superb, tasty pop sourced from the Great American Songbook, rock, and even R&B, it is something special in a time when most music comes and goes without making a great impression. Ex-San Diegan Karrant is a singer […]

John Mailander’s Forecast

Look Closer

Former San Diegan John Mailander has relocated to Nashville, and since his last solo album in 2019 he has put together a band, John Mailander’s Forecast. Look Closer is the full-length debut by the fiddle specialist and multi-instrumentalist as a bandleader. The music on the six tracks, four of them Mailander compositions, is drawn from […]

John Batdorf

An Extraordinary Ordinary Life

John Batdorf’s latest is a six-song EP, An Extraordinary Ordinary Life. The pop/soft-rock specialist is certainly prolific in his recorded output—this follows on the heels of his previous 2020 release, Last Summer. Whether solo or teamed with other artists like James Lee Stanley and Michael McLean, he has established himself as a known quantity whose […]

The Sea Monks

Lost Again

This assured and rocking sophomore effort from San Diego’s Sea Monks shows just how far the family band has progressed since their first release, Gasoline, in 2019. Digitally released on April 1, 2021 (no joke!), the new Sea Monks effort is more assured and muscular, with more original tunes, fewer covers, and deeper lyrics. The […]