The debut EP by Oakland’s Mortar & Pestle has vocalist Janaysa Lambert and band creating sounds that could have been influenced by everyone from Missing Persons to Lene Lovich, with with more of a pop punch that helps to push these six songs into the forefront. Imagine vocalist Res (of “They Say Vision” and “Golden Boys” boys) deciding to split herself and creating a separate persona, merely as a means to record more music. That’s Mortar & Pestle, who combine elements of pop, soul, new wave, and rock to create something that will make listeners desire much more than originally intended. I also loved Paul Shinichi’s keyboard/synth work, definitely showing someone who can stand out in a band with a moving vocalist. Must also show respect to drummer Sean Paul Duke and bassist Justin Martinez, both of whom created the kind of group one tends to expect on albums by Kylie Auldist. More EP’s, please.
(The Mortar & Pestle EP will be released on May 7th.)