Ears Wide Open: Vista Kicks

Vista Kicks
Vista Kicks

Making a straight-ahead rock record these days — one that’s unconstrained by whatever genre revival is au courant, or which producer has juice, or what might earn high digits on a website’s rating — almost qualifies as a bold move. So it is with a certain elan that Vista Kicks unleashed their 15-song debut album last week, titling it “Booty Shakers Ball” to boot. The Sacramento-born, L.A.-based quartet (Derek Thomas, Sam Plecker, Nolan LeVine and Trevor Sutto) made the record with co-producer/engineer Joe Napolitano in their Highland Park studio and financed it via PledgeMusic. And it certainly lives up to the promise of its title, unless you somehow find it anachronistic to shake your booty to rock music.

The follow-up to 2016’s “Chasing Waves” EP, the album finds Vista Kicks covering plenty of musical turf, much of which can be traced to the British Invasion. Unfettered power-pop, bad-boy glam, brash rock ’n’ soul, boot-stomping bar rock — “Ball” spins around all of them without languishing in one place too long. More than many twentysomethings who’ve turned to classic rock, there’s craftsmanship in what they’ve made, from tasty but not overplayed guitar leads to Thomas’ just-right rocker snarl-cum-falsetto. Commence shaking.

||| Stream: “Gotta Get Away”and “Me & Mr. Reilly”

||| Also: Stream the whole album via Spotify

||| Live: Vista Kicks celebrate their album release with a show Oct. 7 at the Echo. Tickets. They also open for Milky Chance this Friday at the Palladium.