REGIME NOIR: Native Stranger: CD

One of the nice things about being an older East L.A. punk kid is coming across a band from a later generation that ain’t afraid to expand on what they learned in the backyards by mixing in a lot of disparate sounds and styles. What Regime Noir has done here is to eschew the hardcore template in all but the verve they put into executing the songs, lean heavily on post punk’s loping, reggae-influenced bass lines and slashing guitars, throw in a nod or two to L.A.’s silly monikered “Chicano Groove” scene of the mid/late-‘90s, and add enough of their own personality so that the resulting tunes don’t sound like they rolled off the assembly line at a cookie factory. While it could be argued that the song structures could be reined in a bit more on occasion to achieve maximum impact, they’ve nonetheless managed to set a pretty solid standard for themselves. A great release here, one that retains its punk roots without pandering to its trappings, and that’s already earning them much respect on both sides of L.A.’s bridges. Me, I can’t wait to hear their next release, which I’m betting is gonna blow this one out of the water.

 –jimmy (myspace.com/regimenoir)