Constantly juggling hardcore and pop projects, veteran Bay Area musician Tony Molina has won over fans in both camps. Since 2002, Molina has played in several bands including Dystrophy, Ovens, Lifetime Problems, Caged Animal, Violent Change and his current solo work. In all of this projects, Molina values lyrical simplicity, structural concision, and the emotional impact of gnarly guitar riffs.
Most recently he released the Six Tracks EP through Matador Records’ Singles Going Home Alone series. Featuring ﬁve brief power-pop originals on the A-side and a stellar cover of Metallica’s “Orion” on the ﬂip, it contains a bona-ﬁde pop hit in “Breakin’ Up,” a tuff tune that recalls the best of Dinosaur Jr and Teenage Fanclub and sounds for all the world like a great lost 70s radio hit. Pure magic.
Two other recent releases – the wistful riff rock of his ﬁrst solo album, Dissed and Dismissed, and his hardcore band Caged Animal’s barbaric debut EP – illustrate the striking dichotomy that has run throughout Molina’s discography over the last eleven years. On Dissed and Dismissed, Molina intensiﬁes the slacker clichés and self-deprecation of 90s indie rock into absurdist hyperbole. He expresses vulnerability and melodrama through bizarre truisms while referencing his forebears: Thin Lizzy leads, Radiohead lyrics, Replacements sneer. Molina appropriates unapologetically (openly paying tribute to Guided By Voices with a sterling cover of their “Wandering Boy Poet”), but distills the past into bursts of reverence less than a minute long.
Dissed and Dismissed
Street Date: March 25, 2014
Formats: LP / Digital / Cassette