If there’s one thing most summer anthems have in common, it’s the unabashed fetishation of beach culture. No matter how far we evolve past the Beach Boys’ “California Girls” (especially the Van Halen version) people always seem to want a song about the ideal LA Woman. Unless of course you’re Andy Burris of melodic power punk trio Odd Robot–then, you want to get as far away from them possible. Though the title of the band’s latest song “West Coast Girls” sounds like a typical ode to modelesque beach bunnies, the postcard image of the song’s cover art is torn in two from the first salvo of power chords to the subtly acerbic lyrics in the chorus: “West Coast girls you’re suicide, you know you really freak me out.”
“It’s almost like the antithesis to Beach Boys’ ‘California Girls’, in that song they’re saying California girls are the best and we’re kinda saying they’re the worst but in a good way, like a twisted kinda thing,” Burris says. “Like you’re kinda terrible, but I love it.”
As a West Coast native, Burris’ resume as a musician includes performing stints in bands like the once popular Placentia band Longfellow (playing along alongside Odd Robot/Sederra bassist Mike Doherty) and The Maxies.
Opting to start his own band about a year and a half ago, this is the first project where Burris takes on the role of lead singer as well as guitar in this explosive power trio rounded out by drummer Damian Monroy. They self-released their debut album A Late Night Panic in January. Then the label Wiretap hit them up and said they wanted to put it out on vinyl and they band’s been signed with them ever since.
Taking a page from their longtime favorites like Smoking Popes, Green Day, The Menzingers and Weezer, the members Fullerton/Inland Empire band wrote the song for their second album Amnesiatic, debuting Aug. 3 on Wiretap Records. “This one has more pop sensibilities to it,” Burris says. “There’s a couple slow songs and ‘West Coast Girls’ is probably the most different on the record.
The song is a hypothetical story loosely based on a love story where you meet someone and they move further away and you try to maintain a long distance thing to less-than satisfying results.
Burris says he offered up the song to some select friends and fans along with several other potential singles to see which one was the strongest, his sonic taste-testers unanimously pointed to “West Coast Girls”, which they declared a unanimous hit. “Everyone thought we’d be able to cast the widest net with that one,” Burris says.
Luckily the band itself is also starting to catch on these days. Jumping on bills with bands like their influences Smoking Popes and the OC bred up and comers Bad Cop Bad Cop, the progression in their sound and their audience is finally starting to match up–they’ve even started gaining international traction as well. Outside of their native SoCal, Spotify analytics show that the next highest area for fans of the band is in Germany. Burris says the band is contemplating going even though he’s not a fan of touring.
“We’re hoping to build a small steady base and not have to tour incessantly.” Despite the song, apparently the idea of actually leaving the West Coast isn’t that appealing to the band, but then who could blame them? If you can, we definitely suggest seeing them at a local gig while you can. The next one is at Characters in Pomona on July 6.