“L.A., you drank me dry,” singer-guitarist Joe Robinson sings on the waltz-y “L.A. Is Pretty (but it’s killing me),” thematically the title track to Pacific Radio’s debut album “Pretty, but Killing Me.” It’s a relatable sentiment in a city brimming with tryers, especially those who’ve slugged it out in rock ’n’ roll circles. Robinson and bassist Joe Stiteler are among them, having rung some ears in the punk band the Ringers before joining up with guitarist Kyle Biane and drummer Hyke Shirinian in Pacific Radio.
Far from being resigned, though, the quartet has embraced that most utilitarian of adages: They keep on keepin’ on. Pacific Radio’s debut full-length, which follows the “Kitchen Table” EP released early in the year, is a meaty rock record that matches the electricity of the band’s live show, serving up big hooks and muscular rhythms where many would have succumbed to comic-book swagger. The album was made with producer Eric Weaver (Grammy-nominated for his engineering on the Iggy Azalea/Charli XCX track “Fancy”), who gives Pacific Radio’s anthems on the time-honored topics of girls, Camaros and the party life a car-radio crackle. Winning the battle in Hollywood might be just as hard as standing out as a straight-ahead rock four-piece these days, but Pacific Radio will find a happy place among fans who simply smile when a frontman sings, “I’m gonna kick your ass with power chord.”
“Pretty, but Killing Me” is out Friday.
||| Stream: “Pretty, but Killing Me”
||| Also: Watch the videos for “Smile” and “Kitchen Table”