Four Corners: A Compilation of Chico Music

CD Release Party: 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, Student Union Auditorium. Admission $6.

This is a fairly enjoyable compilation of original music from four (mostly) distinctive Chico bands. Wild Oak Records, a more-or-less new local record company, acquits itself admirably here with solid production and crisp sound. Every cut possesses a professional veneer. And, fortunately, it’s been applied to solid material.

Unfortunately, group El Diablo only has two cuts here: the bristling hip-hop, Police-style reggae-pop hybrid sounds of “Alone” and the acoustic-guitar-fueled heartbreak of “Girl,” with its odd vocal blend suggestive of Donald Fagin and Neil Young. Indecisive Youth‘s three tracks rock! I’ve always liked hard-edged power-pop-type stuff: “Blank,” “Someday’s Not Today” and “Without a Net” are jumped-up, danceable songs. The most eclectic band here is The Craze. Each of its four tracks—"Jealous of Me,” “D&B Beats,” “Goin’ Out of Style” and “Sunset Bled"—demonstrate an enthusiasm for a wide-variety of musical styles, and the group pulls them off masterfully.

Last, but certainly not least, hometown favorite Electric Circus delivers with three great cuts in its curious, captivating Dead-Allmans-Badfinger (am I the only one who hears the late Pete Ham’s voice in Gary Dutra’s vocals?) combination of sounds. Good music, great production. Grab yourself a copy.