San Francisco soft-grunge outfit Culture Abuse just wants to have fun | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

San Francisco soft-grunge outfit Culture Abuse just wants to have fun 

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Culture Abuse

Alice Baxley

In 2014 defunct music blog Stuff You Will Hate predicted young musicians would begin a new wave of music called “soft grunge" by breeding Puget Sound rock with midwestern emo. Though some bands unintentionally took the idea to heart in their own blends of sounds, soft grunge has become more of a parallel Web-based fashion trend than a definitive musical movement that could put pop in a vise grip. That said, I imagine San Francisco band Culture Abuse could change things. They built the sweet, frictionless songs on their second album, June’s Bay Dream (Epitaph), with the kind of hooks that waste no time affixing themselves to the brain. Propulsive, tender, and occasionally silly (quite nakedly in the case of the dad-joke titled “Bee Kind to the Bugs”), Bay Dream showcases the sounds of a band that’s having fun—if there’s any lesson impressionable young musicians learn from this album, I hope it’s about joy.   v


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