Class Epoca de Los Vaqueros LP

Call it hometown pride, but Tucson has really been showing up lately on the broad landscape of excellent rock‘n’roll. This crew in particular is a fast favorite, with a strong debut EP and now this full-length that perfectly walks the tightrope of melodically pleasant and snotty punk. From track to track, CLASS manages to reference the gold standards of the late ’70s (even going so far as to brilliantly steal from “Guns of Brixton” in broad daylight on the track “Incomplete Extraction”). There’s more going on here than hero worship, though, and this band pulls out new tricks and layers of instrumentation that beef up their lush, driving sound at every turn. The songs are so strong, and the ear for detail just sends them home with a charge. I hope 2023 is another prolific year from this keen quartet, because I’m dying to hear more.