Amores Vigilantes
"West Coast Kingdom"

(Three Ring Records 2009)Amores Vigilantes - West Coast Kingdom

Spoiler alert! Amores Vigilantes are from San Francisco, California. If their album "West Coast Kingdom" didn't give it away the sunny-strolling, riptide-rolling tunes surely will. The band was created by Delfin Vigil and K.C. Staubach originally as Love Vigilantes but went full Spanish when they realized it sounded cooler. Can't say I disagree. The two are joined by pals Jacob Schroth, Jason McCrarey and Marc Gregory to round out the group.

Slightly incriminating but interesting fact, Vigil and Staubach recorded several of the songs in the basement of the San Francisco Chronicle, Vigil's former place of employment. The idea of the two secretly strumming amongst stacks of outdated newspapers and archaic typewriters does make for a romantic album cover. Unfortunately not much of that brash creativity makes it into the music.

The opening track, "Five Blocks With Ferlinghetti" sounds like a designer Coldplay knockoff, albeit with better lyrics. They redeem themselves with "Last Tribute to Love." With Beach Boys-esque harmonies and a Grateful Dead beat bop alongside a jangly guitar and tambourine, visions of sunsets and summer barbeques instantly come to mind. Aside from the jazzy retro elevator jam "Millions of Brazilians" the remainder of the album flirts between these two uninspired sounds.

Is there a place for "West Coast Kingdom" in this world? Of course. There will always be rainy days in need of sunny tunes and left coasters that miss home. But I'd just as well have an umbrella or a picture of my momma.

C+

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