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Writer’s Brotherly Love

San Diego Rock Duo Play Muddy Waters Tuesday, July 26

If thumping, cacophonous percussion and hauntingly narrative lyrics are your thing, then, boy, have we got the show for you. This Tuesday, the San Diego rockers of Writer make a stop at Muddy Waters Café to headline a night of artfully distorted music in support of the band’s soon-to-be released full-length, Brotherface.

As indicated by the album title, Writer is the namesake and creative project of brothers Andy and James Ralph. Together, the pair dishes up a twisted and surprisingly inventive mix of grinding guitars, vintage organs, and smartly delivered speak-sing vocals, all awash in a blur of lo-fi production tactics. On record and in person, frontman Andy Ralph immediately calls to mind former Pedro the Lion frontman David Bazan, with emotive and resonating lyrics and a subtle but striking aversion to choruses. Orchestration-wise, the band mixes pointed and plucking guitar work with buoyant breakdowns (“Miss Mermaid”), found sounds (“North Park Fairies”), and, at times, even tribal-inspired drum and tambourine work (“Hot Days”). But what might sound mismatched on paper translates shockingly well in recorded form, resulting in a sound that falls somewhere between an emo-infused Local Natives and a hard-rocking, fuzzed-out Weezer.

Better yet, Tuesday’s show also boasts sets from local (and semi-local) favorites House of Wolves and The Spires. Former Coral Sea-er Rey Villalobos has been fine-tuning his sometimes-solo House of Wolves project in recent months, and is now touting an impressive debut full-length. Titled Fold in the Wind, the album is a warm and lyrically haunting exercise in what we S.B. dwellers have long known to be Villalobos’s strengths. (Read: subtle and hushed guitar tones, ’50s pop influences, and a high-register vibrato.) In turn, Ventura’s The Spires have delivered some of our all-time favorite live sets. The three-piece prides itself on its guitar work, and frontman Jason Bays can most definitely deliver the distortion-heavy solos. Add to that a penchant for Pavement-style lo-fi, and you’ve got the makings for a rocking good time.

Writer, House of Wolves, and The Spires play Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.) this Tuesday, July 26, at 8 p.m. Visit for tickets

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