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Ranch Ghost w/Little Viking & Happy Little Trees 

When: Thu., Jan. 5, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $5
All right, Nashville, it’s a new year and, as always, fresh calendars mean fresh beginnings … and sounds. It’s time to get out there and see what 2012 has to offer in the way of local rock. Get started on that quest tonight at Mercy Lounge, where three of 2011’s ripest indie-rockin’ upstarts make their case for ruling in 2012. Granted, Dan Sommers (Hot Pipes, My So-Called Band), Jerry Pentecost (Mayhem, Jonny Corndawg, Tristen) and Kelby Ray (American Bang, The Cadillac Black) are already fairly familiar faces on the local scene, but Happy Little Trees — the power trio featuring all three and fronted by Sommers — unleashes some rousing, big, bombastic rawk that, well, rocks hard with crisp hooks and capricious keep-you-on-toes arrangements. With their Kinks-copped chord progressions loosely echoing over roughcast surf rhythms, it’s safe to say Ranch Ghost really, REALLY love classic ’60s psych-rock. They love it with same passion that Coldplay loves U2. For fuck’s sake, the chorus of the band’s nugget “Lookin’” employs gang vocals imploring you to “Take a look in your mind.” And there’s nothing wrong with that. Rounding out this three-band, five-buck gig are locals (Duh!) Little Viking, who pay faithful homage to big, muffed-out ’90s California power pop and can write a better Weezer song than Rivers Cuomo has in the last 15 years.
— Adam Gold

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