By Sean Stroh
When I first listened to The Palechubs I couldn’t help but think of the legendary Long Beach reggae-rockers Sublime.
According to bassist Marco Barajas, my ears didn’t fool me.
“It’s a mixture of a lot of things,” Barajas said. “It’s heavily influenced by reggae, rock, and jazz. I guess the best way to put it is something like a more pop Sublime sound mixed together with Santana.”
Originally formed last August, the band consists of Barajas (bass) along with his brother Eduardo (lead guitar), Josh Mejia (vocals/guitar), Samuel Garcia (keyboard) and Christian Vigil (drums).
“A pale chub is actually a type of fish. It’s a really weird name and for some reason we found it funny,” Barajas said. “When coming up with a name for the band we wanted something unique and easy to remember and it was the first thing we thought of.”
The group’s debut album, House on Western, features a mature sound that can be lacking in young and up and coming bands. While their influences are evident, they manage to avoid sounding like just a cover band.
Take for example, “Amor Silencio”, the fourth track on the album. For five minutes, the band let their instruments do the talking. In fact, not one word is said.
Eduardo’s lead guitar work on the song stands out as well. It’s restrained and crisp rather than showy. In a sense, there actually are some vocals on “Amor Silencio”– it’s Eduardo’s guitar work.
“L.O.V.E.”, the sixth track on the album, follows a similar route, relying on a minimal amount of lyrics that take a backseat to some great instrumental work. Despite having a polished sound on a number of songs off House on Western, I was surprised to learn that not one member is over the age of 23.
With regard to the actual vocals on the album, a case can be made that lead singer Josh Mejia’s pipes are the co-stars of the show–along with Eduardo’s guitar work. Mejia’s laid back delivery fits perfectly with the band’s vibe and sound, especially on “Beautiful Lady.” However, while the front man’s talent is clear, he seems to recognize that he doesn’t need to be the star of the show for one very simple reason–they all are.
The group has two big gigs slated over the next few weeks.
On Thursday, Mar. 31, the band will open for Marc Ford, former guitarist of The Black Crowes, at the legendary Whiskey A Go Go in West Hollywood at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15.
The Palechubs will then make a trip down to Orange County for a show at Chain Reaction on Saturday, April 16 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and all ages are welcome to attend.
Tickets for both shows can be purchased through the band’s website (www.thepalechubs.com/shows). House on Western is also available for digital download as well.
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