You know the scene in countless 1980s movies where a detective investigating a case has to visit a seedy punk rock club? You know how there’s always a house band and a bunch of actors, dressed like stereotypical punks, dancing in the audience?
If they cast that band today, members of The Rouse were born to play the part.
Sounding exactly like what would happen if a pissed-off Grace Slick fronted an ’80s-era Los Angeles punk band, if The Rouse’s full-length release proves anything, it’s that there’s a good chance one of the best female vocalists in the county is moonlighting as a snarky punk frontwoman named Dezi Brannon.
Brannon’s vocals, in fact, are so front and center, even in the actual audio mix, that they almost overshadow what’s happening musically — which is dirty and dark guitar-driven riffs.
The record’s standout track is, surprisingly, its most upbeat number, “VTA,” which proclaims “Music is what sets us free, in VTA, we’re family.” It’s a singalong tribute to Ventura’s thriving local dive-bar scene, which The Rouse rightfully calls home.
The Rouse is technically in the wrong decade and in the wrong town for any success (it’s not early ’80s L.A.), but quite possibly — due to Ventura’s longstanding love of authentic old-school punk and the massive number of L.A. transplants — the members are in the right place at the right time.