Every halfway decent college town needs a great stoner band, so Ojos Rojos might as well be Claremont’s (the name translates as “red eyes,” which pretty much explains everything). As stoner bands go, they lean more spiritually psychedelic than Sabbath sludge, and it seems to suit them well—historically plugged-in enough to be unashamed Syd Barrett worshippers, yet contemporary enough to claim the Brian Jonestown Massacre as friends.
Los Ojos are about distortion, with a vintage aura to their song clips that injects their tunes with flavor and mood (but just probably means they use beat-up equipment—hey, whatever works). Take “You,” a swirling mass of sonic oo-ing and ahh-ing that should probably come with downloadable acid tabs (technology will catch up around 2024, we’re hoping). “High”—gee, could they be any more vague?—sounds something like a slow-motion orgasm, building and building till the money shot payoff. “My Ride” seems hazy and confused on first listen, but ultimately it makes perfect music to blast while cruising through Joshua Tree at 3 a.m.—mysterious, a little spooky, but with a sense of wonder that permeates the senses. “The Tuner” is mostly just a wall of feedback and effects pedals, but there are still some moments of soft, sublime beauty to be found beyond its borders. In the end, great music, whatever Ojos Rojos or anyone else wants to label it.
More info and song clips at their MySpace page.
Attention, Riverside/San Bernardino County bands and musicians (you too, Claremont, La Verne and Pomona)! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Band of the Week, IE Weekly, 2175 Sampson Ave., Ste. 118, Corona, CA 92879. Or be lazy and e-mail us your MySpace page link to firstname.lastname@example.org.