IT’S CASUAL The New Los Angeles II Stoked Records
Don’t let the name fool you—It’s Casual is anything but. Led by singer/guitarist/bassist and key songwriter Eddie Solis, this Los Angeles area hard rock/punk duo blasts through riff heavy tunes somewhere between Rollins era Black Flag and Slayer. It’s a brutal, straight forward approach that has redefined skate rock and proven the old adage that less is more. Formed in 2002 by Solis, the band’s moniker hails from the 1984 Cameron Crowe film
The Wild Life and has built a worldwide following by playing across the country and selling their merchandise online and shipping worldwide.
No matter what the venue, an It’s Casual show is guaranteed to be all things energetic, interactive and fun. And loud—really, really loud. The group has also performed with Black Flag, Fu Manchu, High on Fire, Zeke, Fireball Ministry, Mondo Generator,
Good For You and Mastodon.
And they’ve released three full length records—2002’s Buicregl, 2005’s Stop Listening to Bad Music and 2007’s The New Los Angeles, all produced by Sergio J. Chavez (Motorhead, Pennywise, Helmet). And it’s the latter that earned much praise from fans and press thanks in part to the title track, featuring a video shot in Los Angeles and directed by Robert Schober AKA Roboshobo known for his director work (Metallica, Greeen Day, Coheed and Cambria). Also, there’s the single “The Red Line,” which finds Solis screaming, “The freeways are not so nice” urging listeners to ditch the bleary congested interstates and instead seek mass transportation. A popular video for “The Red Line” by Rick Kosick (Big Brother, Jackass) in 2012 quickly led to Solis being featured on NPRaffiliate KPCC and was later picked up on “The California Report.” The “greencore” message also garnered substantial coverage in seminal altweekly papers, including the LA Weekly and OC Weekly, plus on websites like the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, Treehugger, Noisecreep, Amoeba Records, Natural Resources Defense Council, KNAC.com, and even on L.A.’s own Metropolitan Transit Authority blog.
But it’s not just the area’s nightmarish gridlock that inspires Solis as he tells listeners about the virtues in using his interagency transit EZ pass. The singer’s veins bulge as he delivers such songs behind a wall of sound generated by stacks of amps. And when he’s not raging into the microphone, Solis roams the stage and stares with an intensity not seen since Rollins railed, “You’re one of them!” As if that wasn’t enough, the Los Angeles native often pumps his fist with one hand, all while hammering busy riffs on the fretboard with his other. Solis can also be heard through a microphone VIA his AM talk radio show,
Los Angeles Nista, which he created to actively advocate the carfree message on a different platform. On December 16th 2014, It’s Casual will release two albums via Stoked Records—a rerelease of 2007’s The New Los Angeles I and the brand new
The New Los Angeles II. This fourth full length by the duo expands upon the theme and concept formulated within the first installment, providing sharpened commentary on what Solis witnesses in his everyday Los Angeles based life. While TNLA I covered transportation hassles and the general woes of urban living specific to the city of Angels (with plenty of devils, too), TNLA II delves deeper into these myriad topics. Produced by IT'S CASUAL and engineered by Paul Miner (Death By Stereo), The New Los Angeles II ignites straight into the aurally assaulting riff of
“The Gold Line,” which triumphs the installation of commuter rail lines heading east through the remainder of Los Angeles County. Pleas for cooler heads to prevail via arts programs in public schools are heard through “Less Violence, More Violins,” which extends into the adjacent track,
“Keep The Children Occupied,” advocating funding afterschool programs for youngsters.
“Sharing is Not Caring” and “Their Own Cash” address the lack of resources in public schools, with students often forced to share scarce learning materials while teachers fork out their personal funds to maintain essential supplies in the classroom. “Live Food” highlights the degradation of childhood nutrition and limited access to healthy options once these kids come home from their impoverished school environments. And The New Los Angeles II’s closer, “Kids Having Kids,” is yet another reminder of the vicious cycle that teenage pregnancy typically fails to shatter. As it turns out, Solis’ forceful, imminent refrains of freeways not being so nice were only the beginning. With The New Los Angeles II, he introduces the listener to an entire world that’s not exactly as wonderful as the one Louis Armstrong once crooned about. But then again, that’s just how life is when you’re living in the New Los Angeles.