Although traditionally playing very few shows, Pacific Pride (due at the hi-dive on Saturday, March 14) seems to make every performance count. The outfit's rich blend of lo-fi pop with frayed sonic edges is reminiscent of the golden age of New Zealand's Flying Nun label when legendary bands like the Clean and the Chills were making some of the world's catchiest, most sublimely beautiful experimental rock. At other times, Pacific Pride's chimey, fractured guitar work and slightly off-kilter dynamism also recalls the work of Stephen Malkmus and the Fall. Expansively energized atmospheres and a headlong drive following delicate, introspective moments all serve to channel frontman Paul Garcia's nervy energy and fragile vocal delivery. With Robert Ballentyne and James Barone of Mothership as the rhythm section, the songs can sound loose, but performance-wise, they're anything but. Despite this band's pacifist leanings, its musical attack is fierce.
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