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Left Astray’s Caoba is the Hatepunk We Neeed Right Now!

8-5-16, photo by Wayne Ballard Photography.

Admittedly, there is very little myself and so many other music “writers” or dare I say “journalists” can offer the world. Sure, we can beg our editors to let us stream your band’s EP in exchange for a black Gildan heavy cotton shirt with your logo that your bassist’ps tattoo artist begrudgingly drew at a discounted rate. But for what? So the ten people who already know about your band can read it or better yet, share it for deaf ears and blind eyes to scroll past? I don’t mean to be a downer but sadly we operate in a time where average bands with a great PR team behind them can dominate while sincerely good local bands have their entire careers derailed because someone couldn’t get a week off from their job at Vans or Whole Foods to play in garages and DIY basements. What I am getting at here is that some bands have all the luck, while others have to absolutely grind for years before anyone even notices them.

From their early days playing to no one at Maya’s Cafe to their most recent release, Caoba, Left Astray have been on a war path local shows and DIY tours that would make a lot of other bands question why the fuck they ever bought instruments in the first place. Left Astray is a Southern California constant, taken for granted in a way as they have consistently maintained their staunch commitment to anti-fascism and the DIY spirit that any decent hardcore or punk band should run on. Caoba is a three track EP that pays homage to older crust bands like Disrupt and as well as the melodic complexities that mirror neo-crust giants Fall Of Efrafa, Masakari and even Loma Prieta. In just ten crushing minutes Left Astray deliver ferocious d-beats, calming melodic guitars and breakdowns that will make you question whether you even know what music is anymore (spoiler you probably don’t). As more bands embrace the EP vs. the full length release, Left Astray have set the bar high and if you’d be doing yourself a favor to set aside ten measly minutes for a band that is undoubtedly cooler than whatever skate shop aesthetic youth crew band you’re bumping now.

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