Kaeleigh Morrison

Culture Collide Festival – Echo Park – 10/4/2012 – 10/7/2012

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This weekend, FILTER Magazine’s Culture Collide Festival invited bands from countries across the world to bring music’s finest to Los Angeles’s own Echo Park. The lineup included buzzworthy artists such as of Montreal, The Big Pink, and even The Wombats. SoCalMusicToday.com brings you the best little bands from this weekend’s international showcase.


MONSTER CAT (Singapore)

Playing multiple times over the course of the festival, MONSTER CAT mastered very complex layering and distortion while still sounding very clear and simple. Although the lyrics of the echoey track “Underwater” unfold a depressing tale of drowning, hey did not go overboard by any means; tortured acoustic guitar mourned with the sobs of whammy moaning from the electric guitar.

The guitarist, Psycho Cat, (the entire band has masked their identities with faux-names) is so talented. His fingers bend notes and flutter between frets like a modest Santana. Dueling vocals gave the band a very interesting sound, a sort of beautiful, auditorily pleasing Man Man.




Jared James Nichols

With great technicality and sex appeal, Jared James Nichols takes finger strumming to a whole other level. The energy from the crowd was amazing. We were itching and scratching. Shifting our weight nervously between songs, wanting one more hit from the high that was left in the wake of this young guitarist’s talent. Stunning power chord after stunning power chord, Nichols has a Robert Plant bite to his vocals, a Hendrix sweetness to his melodies, and the heavy-metal furious power behind a great Metallica riff. From his guttural, deep vocals to the lightning-fast jumps between frets to the cocky smile plastered across his face, JJN sweats pure, rockstar.




Drug Cabin

Drug Cabin sounds like the best summer vacation of your elementary school life. Opening with “Song For A Friend,” this bubbly, feel-good music epitomizes the laid-back cool of the Beach Boys with a dash of Lennon’s post-India druggie haze. Their bass lines reflect a Nirvana and Radiohead inspired experiment while the guitar sounded like a banjo, tickling a pretty melody from the speakers. A light sprinkle of cymbal paired with bouncy bass lines and the cute falsetto of two boys from Eugene, South Dakota create the easy-going duo that is Drug Cabin.



Young Buffalo

Although venue quality caused the band’s sound to stray from their youthful, art-pop approach, Young Buffalo enchanted festival goers with choir-esque keyboards with juicy bass lines and the tribal half-yelling of Vampire Weekend vocals. Due to acoustic issues within Taix’s Front Lounge, they lost crispness and distinction between instruments. This wasn’t a bad thing, however, they took the Local Natives fogginess and made it their own. Video game-inspired melodies and the clean highs of Guns N’ Roses guitar choruses flood the tracks of this Mississippi band.





Admiral Fallow (Scotland)

In case you’re bored with your radio’s folk-rock selection, or Mumford’s Babel has made you cry more times than you would have liked, try on something a little happier. Nice, down-to-earth lyrics, a screaming accordion, and synth-riddled songs flesh out these Glasgow natives. A strong guitar and a boot-stomping kick drum embrace a strong orchestral approach. They one-upped Mumford And Sons with the brilliant idea to weave haunting, female vocals into the crash of cymbals and tumbling piano melodies.





This LA duo has concocted the perfect musical cocktail to pair with a plush towel, a deep tan, and a Caribbean breeze. Dorky, ironic lyrics masked by layers of tropical, synthy buzz create an atmosphere of chilled-out decadence. Light brushes of pop caught in the cascades of synth are smeared across thick wubby, almost dubstep bass lines. We dare you to listen to Poolside and try not to imagine that you sweat gold when you tan.




Tapioca And The Flea

These boys are the ringleaders of the indie pop disco with their eighties looping samples, pop-punk drums, and guitar parts melted by indie-rock distortion. Mixing and editing vocal samples in real time, the lead singer, conducted his synth with a technique reminiscent of Discovery’s electric blooms.




Below are photos from the weekend’s events – all photos by Eric Schackne

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