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Admiral Radley
I Heart California - The Ship
FILTER Grade: 81%

By Jennifer McCutchen on June 22, 2010


Admiral Radley

The lovechild of California indie darlings Grandaddy and Earlimart, Admiral Radley doesn’t play any tricks. The debut album, I Heart California, has a simple formula: two parts Grandaddy, two parts Earlimart. The title track, a buoyant ode to—yup, you guessed it—California, seamlessly echoes Grandaddy to a tee. “Ghosts of Syllables” is quintessential Earlimart, with Aaron Espinoza’s hushed vocals driving the ethereal tune. This song routine continues, gracefully layering the record with atmospheric effects, rollicking jaunts, wistful themes and even a nod to Star Trek. Those hoping for a grandiose synthesis of Grandaddy and Earlimart, however, should keep looking. The songs border on self-plagiarism. That’s not to say their Achilles’ heel is unoriginality—fans of either band will definitely find some gems. But if Admiral Radley wants to transcend the predictable, they’ve got the weapons to do it—they just need to use them. JENNIFER MCCUTCHEN

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