RUM & REBELLION: Self-titled: CD + RUM & REBELLION: I Am Plotting My Way Out: CD

Two releases from a Salinas band that specialized in rootsy punk with heaping helpings of country, folk, and a little ranchera. Their self-titled debut, originally from 2005, is the rootsiest—and oddly the more aggressive in delivery—of the two, with vocals shouted and sung and a variety of instruments employed to give songs with relatively simple structures lots of nice texture—Pogues meet Gun Club at a Woody Guthrie gig. I’m Plotting My Way Out, recorded in 2007 and originally released in 2010, shows how much they’d evolved in two years, retaining much of the personal and sociopolitical lyrical subject matter while simultaneously expanding the sonic palate and staying within the parameters of the lane they plotted for themselves. Catchy, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and good. The DIY letter-pressed and hand-assembled covers are fuggin’ sweet, too. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rum & Rebellion, rumandrebellion.com)