A self-described "punk band that doesn't sound like one," Bad Weather California cull influences from far beyond the confines of the skate punk culture they celebrate. Genre snobs will argue about which bands are or aren't punk until the end of days, and the upbeat melodies on Sun Kissed won't meet purist standards, but that's a good thing. After all, it would be a shame to confine BWC's eclectic disposition to just one sound.
Though it's musically meandering, Sunkissed is unified by singer/guitarist Chris Adolf's perseveringly optimistic lyrics. He delivers the album's opening line "hush baby don't you cry, you know we're all bound to die," with soothing consolation. Adolf's "don't worry, be happy" mentality, coupled with the group's sunny instrumental soundscape, make the songs that touch on topics like loneliness and divorce sound just as fun and danceable as the ones about girls and skateboarding.
The album's upbeat vibe is enhanced by the relaxed spontaneity inherent in every track. A lot of bands spend months in recording purgatory, obsessing over every last detail. But on Sunkissed it sounds like BWC were still writing the songs as they went along, and they nailed it on the first try. In just over a half-hour, the album jumps from modern takes on classic rock (the "Sweet Jane" spiritual successor "When You Smile") to chaotic moshers ("Freaks & Geeks," "Skate or Try") to Vocoder remixes ("I'll Reach Out My Hand Part 2"). And then there's "Let It Shine," a track that follows up a 30 second punk song with a funky call and response before segueing into a Bo Diddley era riff. Released in February, the coldest and darkest month of the year, Bad Weather California's new album is a temporary escape from the brutality of Winter and a welcomed reminder that sunnier days lie ahead.