Dante Elephante, The Californian, and The Ross Sea Party at Muddy Waters Café

Cali-bred Surf Rock Reigned on Wednesday, October 5

Dante Elephant's Ruben Zarate.
Patrick Santos

Last week’s blustering gales didn’t stop Muddy Waters Café from heating up on with a triple dose of guitar-driven indie rock. First up was L.A.’s The Ross Sea Party, a kinetic quintet who built mounting three-piece harmonies and compositions similar to NYC’s Freelance Whales.

When the wind down Haley Street redoubled in strength, it was up to The Californian to respond in kind. With skinny ties and slacks to match the rakish quality of their music, the L.A.-based five-piece led the way with an up-tempo rhythm section and bold melodies in tow. Eager to share selections from their recent eponymous debut album, The Californian strutted their surf-ridden stuff, politely taking a break from the kinetic pace with “a slow song” when the time was right.

Finally, local favorites Dante Elephante stepped up to the plate to show how Santa Barbara does indie. With lead vocalist Ruben Zarate’s genial voice firmly at the helm, Dante Elephante brought to life their sun-soaked sound, including selections from their forthcoming debut album. Before we knew it, Muddy Waters’ walls were teeming with guitar-powered frenzy, providing a warm end to a cool night.


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