Pop & Hiss

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Henry Clay People hit the road, release new MP3

July 14, 2010 |  4:27 pm

The Henry Clay People - Your Famous Friends from tbdrecords on Vimeo.

The standout track on the Henry Clay People's new album "Somewhere on the Golden Coast" declares, "This ain't a scene, it's just a generation caught in between." (The first version of the song, "This Ain't a Scene," was also a highlight of their last album.) And even the press kit for the Glendale-based band's third album openly asserts their lack of affiliation with any of the predominant Los Angeles scenes--or at least those that are recipients of lavish media coverage. They certainly can't be lumped with downtown art-punks, frost-tipped Sunset Strip electro bands, or sotto voce KCRW darlings.

But though their one-sheet might attempt to convince you otherwise, they're very much an L.A. band, one that channels the Budweiser and burgers crowd who still frequent Bob's Big Boy (the one in Burbank remains highly recommended). The sort of band who make music ostensibly more targeted toward El Segundo than Silver Lake. An unpolished and unpretentious rock n' roll that owes as much to Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers as it does to the most frequently cited touchstones: the Replacements and Pavement.

That doesn't mean that the Spaceland-Echo axis has shunned the Clays. After all, the band has attracted a notably devoted fanbase, who prefer primary colors rock to florescent or flannel. HCP value the straight-forward over the esoteric and in the process realize an accidental profundity. The slow-burning wisdom gleaned from empty bottles and rambling conversations.

Consequently, the band received the call up to the big leagues for their new Aaron Espinoza (Earlimart)-produced record, going from Justin Gage's Autumn Tone  (on which to tbd records, home of Autolux, White Rabbits and a little band called Radiohead. Henry Clay will be going on tour with fellow Angelenos Silversun Pickups (and Against Me!) starting on Friday in Las Vegas and continuing through Aug. 7. The lone local date will be Aug. 6 at the Greek.

The band is also giving away a free MP3 of the "Slow Burn," (see below) which you may appreciate regardless of your scene identification.

-- Jeff Weiss

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