Ears Wide Open: The Henry Clay People


On its last two albums, one for Aquarium Drunkard’s Autumn Tone imprint and the follow-up for ATO sub-label TBD Records, the Henry Clay People straddled two decades, jangling through Tom Petty’s ’70s and stabbing at Pavement’s ’90s. The latter must have won a coin toss, judging from “California Wildfire,” which just premiered via AD. The crackling new track – off an EP due in May titled “This Is a Desert” – turns the guitars to 11, sprinkles in some new pedal effects and gets dragged kicking and screaming toward the chorus on Jordan Hudock’s saloon piano line. Joey Siara’s shout-sung couplets sound like something off “King James Version”-era Harvey Danger (a good thing), amplified by all manner of muscular riffage. At first blush, “California Wildfire” seems ready for those sure-to-come-back-around ’90s FM playlists. No matter if radio picks it up, it’s the freshest the L.A. quintet has sounded since “Working Part Time.”

||| Download: “California Wildfire” (via Aquarium Drunkard)


Photo by Jeff Koga