I spent the first part of my week out in SF for school. Luckily, my hotel was literally around the corner from Amoeba Records (also across from Golden Gate Park; the trip did nothing but reaffirm my love for that city). On Monday evening, I spent around 3 1/2 hours rummaging through their records and ended up snagging a few gems. I’ll be posting a few of them on the blog, but others on my list included:

Pg. 99/Reactor 7 Split 7″ – Document #3

Nana Grizol – Love It Love It

Rolling Stones –  In Exotic Honolulu Bootleg

Sainthood Reps – Monoculture 7″

Teenage Cool Kids – Denton After Sunset

Blind Willie McTell – Last Session

Boyd Rivers – You Can’t Make Me Doubt

Billy Childish and Sexton Ming – Here Come The Fleece Geese

Eric Burdon and the Animals – Everyone Of Us

The Babies – Cry Along With

For Serious This Time – Weird Life

Stirling Says – Balboa

Dr. Dog – Goner 7″

I paid a nearly criminal good price for this lot, despite the fairly hefty stack that I left with. I could have spent another few hours in there but I had my limit for one day.


Anyway, back to what this post is supposed to be about, Balboa by Stirling Says from San Francisco. This band somehow seems to have flown under everyone’s radar, despite this insanely catchy gem being put out by Adagio 830. Irrelevantly, this band also has ex-member(s?) of Funeral Diner. I had seen this floating around a few distros but for some reason never got around to really listening to it (even though I remember having it on my last computer). The artwork definitely doesn’t immediately command your attention. Upon purchase, I found a small 5×5″ card stock lyric sheet/photo and a black heavy-weight record. What the album lacked in impressive packaging, it easily made up for as soon as I put it on my turntable.

These guys play 90s-style alternative that instantly calls to mind Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement. There are also definite nods to Teenage Cool Kids and some other contemporaries. The fuzzed-out guitar play is complimented perfectly with insanely catchy melodies. This album should have been topping year-end lists in 2009, but unfortunately was maybe just a little ahead of the curve with their exhumation of 90’s guitar rock. Who knows?

After checking for a website or an active Facebook page, I found nothing that would indicate these guys are still active. Regardless, download this for free off their band camp and pick up a copy from Bear Records or Bis Auf’s Messer (Europe, also grab some of their coffee!) or dig deep at their local record store (I got mine for $2.99). If anyone has the tracks from the split that they put out slightly before this or a copy they would be willing to part with, send me a message!