What: Bad Weather California (at the Underground Music Showcase)
When: 11 p.m. Thursday
Where: 3 Kings Tavern, 60 S. Broadway, Denver
Cost: $40 forshowcase wristbands for the whole weekend
If you’ve ever wondered why Bad Weather California‘s music sounds all over the map, here’s the reason: The group’s four members range in age from 25 to 40.
“Joe Sampson is 40, Chris [Adolph] is 35, Adam [Baumeister] 30 and I’m 25. We each grew up in our own individual beat, and each one of us brings a music background and style that we’re into, and what we think feels good as music,” drummer Logan Cocoran said. “I think that’s most of the reason for kind of the weird style, kind of the mix of stuff. Our last record had a bunch of different stuff and sounds. I think that works for us, but I’ve seen a lot of reviews where that was a negative.”
It’s an easy target for criticism, but it also keeps the Denver band’s music really interesting. Boredom isn’t possible.
The band’s first full-length album, 2009’s Young Punks, was recorded at Adolf’s house. He’s the primary songwriter and studied music engineering and had the equipment they needed. He was also previously working with Love Letter Band, and that influence was heavy on Young Punks.
“I joined the band right at the end of making that record,” Cocoran said. “It was way more folky, kind of alt-country, almost.”
Cocoran is drumming on two of that album’s songs. The rest only feature minimal percussion. His drumming alone lends a different feel to Bad Weather California’s second LP, Sunkissed, which dropped this February.
But in the years in between, Bad Weather California also found a record label. The guys became friends with New York City band Akron Family, who were planning on starting their own label and asked Bad Weather California to record. They got in the studio in late 2011, and after some worrying about whether Family Tree Records would ever get off the ground, it all came together.
“I think in the two years between [albums], we changed a lot,” Cocoran said. “Now that we have this opportunity and resources behind us — Sunkissed is a lot more produced. There’s a lot more going on with it. It’s a lot denser.”
Wait for it: The band isn’t settled yet.
“Now we’re scaling it back,” Cocoran added. “The new stuff is a lot more punky. We wanna take very simple songs and do something straightforward.”
Change is good, even if it’s throwing critics and fans for a loop. (And maybe they’re easily thrown. It’s not that shocking.) If it wasn’t working, Bad Weather California wouldn’t be repeats at Denver’s Underground Music Showcase.
This year, the guys play 3 Kings Tavern at 11 p.m. on Thursday. They’re excited to play, of course, but they’re just as excited to take in the whole festival.
“It’s always awesome. I always have such a good time,” Cocoran said. “The number of national acts compared to last year and the level of national acts compared to last year — it’s crazy.”
He’s looking forward to the Cloud Nothings show (they play after Bad Weather California on Thursday), but Bad Weather California is worth its own excitement. Go hear what they’re playing now, before the sound changes again.