socal sounds: chico

Written by Emily Sierra

Chico is a four-piece punk rock band hailing from Southern California. Just four friends playing and making music, the band released their debut single “Dumb Beach” in June 2019. The single is fronted by frantic guitar, exhibiting their punk rock roots, but also includes a wailing breakdown, possibly reminding listeners of bands such as The Frights or Mt. Eddy. The song’s chaotic energy encourages the listener to scream the catchy line in the chorus, “Oh baby, you’re crazy.” 

Soon after, the band released their Summer EP featuring three new songs in addition to “Dumb Beach.” Each track is significantly different than the other, drawing influences from lots of artists and genres. The song “Juuliet,” teases late 80s and early 90s nostalgia, hearing influences from bands such as The Smiths and The Cure. The song has a sense of eagerness and excitement that is elevated by a fury of drums before the memorable chorus: “But if you wanna go, and leave me all alone; Take me by the hand, I wanna be your man.” This song makes you want to dance, jump around, and scream every single lyric. 

“U Aight?” is a surf punk anthem that has lots of cool little breakdowns blending the punk rock roots of Chico with a more surf rock vibe to make it unlike any other songs on the EP. The lyrics of this track talk about the difficulties of reality and fantasy, with the chorus filled with phrases such as “Feeling like I wanna die” and “My dreams are full of lies.” 

The guitar heavy track “Hudson” is truly the epitome of modern punk rock, mixing sounds and influences from older bands, such as Misfits, and newer bands, such as Movements or Neck Deep. The band recently performed at our altangeles birthday show. Being a last minute addition, we knew their music was good, but did not know much about the band. But that changed as soon as they started playing and the entire room’s energy shifted. Since the show was in Orange County, where most of the band is from, lots of their friends were there and did not hesitate to hype the crowd up. 

With a mosh pit immediately forming, everyone let loose and focused on having fun, even though many were not familiar with Chico. One of the highlights of their performance was an unexpected cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.” Everyone thought they were just messing around, but when the familiar chords were heard, the room erupted. Chico held an incredible stage presence, clearly showing passion for their music and music in general. They constantly made sure that the audience was having fun. Whether dancing to “Juuliet” or screaming “ALL ALONE” and moshing during “Hudson,” the crowd was zoned in. Chico’s ability to carry a performance and engage with an unfamiliar crowd showed maturity, but also reinforced that everyone in the room had at least one commonality: a love for music. By the end of their set, everyone became a fan of Chico, not just because of their ingenuity and authentic music, but because of their individual personalities as people and musicians. 

Chico is not afraid to mix different styles and genres of music in order to pay proper homage to the music they love listening to, making their music incredibly real and raw. Keep your eyes peeled for upcoming shows this fall, you won’t want to miss them!

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