Nothing can be said of track 5, “Lazy Naked Sundays,” except it is downright irritating. The other songs reach the ear somewhere in the range of “slightly talented beach jam-band pabulum” and “overwrought pretentiousness.”
Agave goes out of its way to be inaccessible; they’ve specialized themselves to death. They’re a post-reggae beach jam band without an island sensibility. The people I let listen to Radiates Your Head with me said either, “I don’t like beach music” or “I’m not really into jam bands.” Agave is damned if they Phish and damned if they Marley.
Look past their unmixed style to their raw talent and they’re not bad. Although, their writing is a bit sophomoric (see track 2, “Drippin’ Bitches,” for an account of how a “booty drive a man insane,” if you dare), but the poppy soft-rock rhythm held down by Metzger’s bass and Flores’s percussion is catchy and crisp. Tony Goncalves’s vocals can either grate on the ears or drive with high-key passion and precision…along the lines of horrid crap rocker Geddy Lee of Rush.
Agave incorporates light sound effects that lend the album a bit of a dub feel, but the band never drives home any connection to a Jamaican/
Polynesian heritage. If you’re new to San Diego and want a beachy, marijuana-haze night in a local beach bar, hit up Agave.
Album: Radiates Your Head (2007)
Where available/price: Lou’s Records in Encinitas and M-Theory Music in Mission Hills for $10. Online at iTunes for $9.99 and CDBaby.com for $12.97.
Songs: 1) Radiates… 2) Drippin’ Bitches 3) On My Mind 4) She Is Green 5) Lazy Naked Sundays 6) Walkabout 7) The Point 8) Blown Out Day 9) Huevos con Queso 10) Viva Salsipuedes 11) Wake Up 12) Pulse 13) South Swell 14) Radiates Your Head
Band: Rusty Bishop (guitars, vocals), Chris Flores (drums, percussion, vocals), Tony Goncalves (vocals), John Metzger (bass, vocals)