It's the tragic story of Mean Mr. Mustard as a queer icon.
Like a musical multivitamin, Caleb Nichols' music weaves together the experience of a micro-mushroom-dosed pizza for your gay date night with the magnesium/iron combo of queer comedy and tragedy. A childhood Beatles fascination grows well next to the sounds of the golden state, weaving vivid guitar into operatic commentary veiled in a true California partly-cloudy forecast. In their newest album, Ramon, Nichols queers a canonical musical figure, using theatrical lyrics to paint vignettes of white rabbit adventures and very real social pressures all within a DIY ethos. "You learn early on that no one is going to do it for you, or that what you are wanting to see or hear doesn't exist, so you need to do it yourself with your friends."
Each track is a three to four minute romp inside a specific emotion, playing out theatrical puzzle pieces that build on each others' sounds. There's so much to be said about the perfectly fuzzed strings and how they fit seamlessly into powerfully catchy lyrics, versatile and relevant percussion, etc. There's also so much to say about how fun it is to just listen to it happen. Their work touches on sounds that might feel homey to those of us who have been listening to the likes of Kill Rock Stars' Elliott Smith, bounces distinctly off of the 1960's technicolor daisy of the British Invasion and matures into Nichols’ specific artistry. It’s intricate, cathartic work made by and for the people who need it.