[7 March 2010]
Really, there’s only one voice behind the Voyces’ fourth studio release. Backing vocalist Jude Kastle may have helped pick the running order for this well thought-out long player along with co-producer Bruce Driscoll, but Let Me Die in Southern California is Brian Wurschum’s ‘70s-country-colored-folk-pop-meets-power-pop baby—a homesick Californian’s ode to the land that he loves. With regular bassist Frank Carreno apparently gone and drummer Eric Puente taking a sabbatical from recording, Wurschum has not only written all the songs, he plays all the instruments and sings lead as well.
While the dreamy folk-rock flavor of the New York-based group’s previous recordings is retained on songs like “King of Castle”, where Kastle’s (no pun intended, apparently) beautiful, lilting vocals take the lead and “You Can Never Know”, a song suggestive of Cat Stevens before he got religion, it’s the catchy, ‘70s-AM-radio-rock title track and a couple of burgeoning Big Star-style power-pop numbers, “The Speed of Fear” and “You Can Never Know”, that stand out for all the right reasons.