Music » Critics' Picks

The Growlers

8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25. The Old Rock House, 1200 South Seventh Street.



In Costa Mesa, California, the Growlers have a lock on the country-surf-rock-mariachi scene, and once you get past the unalloyed hipsterisms — the packaging for Gay Thoughts, its latest seven-inch release, features a dude in a sombrero puking a rainbow — the music is fun, sometimes funky, sometimes just a bracing, catchy mess. When things are going right, the Growlers will put you in mind of that exquisite moment when you first dropped the needle on the Cramps' Songs the Lord Taught Us, at its worst singer and head honcho Brooks Nielsen will make you wish psychedelic jug band music began and ended with the 13th Floor Elevators. Live, the band is just crazed enough to overcome all misgivings.