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Almost as entertaining as the music are the various rock writer attempts to define San Diego - based Tropical Popsicle:

"Lava lamp people" "Dark acid trip and occult fantasy" "A trio of gothy bad trippers"

Darkness and bad acid? The occult and lava lamps? Where I hear vintage So-Cal beach chords and simple patterns, others hear trippy acid-wash gloom. Really?

"Well, I kind of intended for it to be that way," says Tim Hines. "But everybody hears different things. What'd you hear?" He laughs. "Waterslides, and the tropics, and popsicles? Shit like that?"

Hines, of La Mesa, plays guitar and sings and writes most of the music. He says his influences are what he calls "60's stuff. My parents grew up in that era. Jefferson Airplane, Creem, 13th Floor Elevators. And that's what I grew up listening to."

He says he got into new wave and post punk bands for a while before and during high school. "But I went back to psychedelic rock in my late teens, so I never really left it."

Tropical Popsicle has likewise been called a mix of post punk, psychedelic, and Goth rolled into one. "The music is kind of scatterbrained like me," he told the Reader in April. "It's all over the map, whatever my state of mind is that week, that month, that moment."

On the eve of kicking off their first west coast tour, Impose magazine debuted the Trop Pop's latest video for "The Tethers" single from The Age of Attraction EP. After last year's release of The Beach With No Footprints 7" on Volar Records and appearances at Noise Pop and CMJ Festivals, things are looking up for the band that began life as a recording project.

Tropical Popsicle will appear in San Diego at the Soda Bar, Friday June 22.

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