The Beat: Sacramento with Doombird’s Twin Prime and Weirdoze’s The Ultimate Boy Band EP

Tell me if the vapid conversation of local apathy gets cumbersome. In exploring three releases by three notable local acts, the dialogue naturally steered toward the age-old complaint of support. Someday, someone will do something about the deficiency of resources. Until then, musicians will have “self-released” next to their albums. The liner notes will read: me, goddamnit.

There’s more presumed opportunity and access than could be accounted for in the last decade. The musicians and the music are superior, and this month’s selections are definitive proof. Who’s bringing the resources?

Doombird, Twin Prime (self-released)

Doombird’s Twin Prime

If a Doombird album gets released in Sacramento, does anyone hear it? This band likely doesn’t care. The music industry has shifted to Friday release dates, but Doombird surprise-released its latest on a Tuesday, presumably for the prime number of 11. Twin Prime modifies the Doombird sound ever so slightly, as the band has surgically done since 2013’s Cygnus album—a catalyst aging with grace. Cygnus was an unabashed reach for de rigueur electronic rock, a la Kid A begetting Cut Copy. Doombird did not become the next Cut Copy. It didn’t happen with Past Lives (2016) either. C’est la vie in Sacramento. Instead, Doombird remains one of the most polished and stylish bands that will play a free show at Lowbrau. Twin Prime is five meaty compositions that toil and ruminate. There is a brooding to the EP, established in the agitated inflections in Kris Anaya’s vocals on “Disappearing Ink” before he shifts to breathy falsetto on the hypnotic refrain. The decorative electronic elements that gave previous Doombird records pop potential are stripped to In Rainbows-esque earworms. Doombird still strives for movement, still masterfully builds and destroys song structures, but Twin Prime is a band through chasing popularity or, worse, fighting off the way of the dodo. In mathematics, twin prime is both rare and theoretically infinite. For Doombird, it’s agency in disregarding quests for laurels.

Stream/Purchase Doombird’s Twin Prime on Spotify or Apple Music.

Weirdoze, The Ultimate Boy Band EP (self-released)

Weirdoze’s The Ultimate Boy Band EP

Can Weirdoze become the next “it” group of Sacramento? The Ultimate Boy Band EP stations a rap collective as boy band — on trend with Brockhampton self-proclaiming “boy band” sans irony and Lil Yachty declaring himself “bubblegum trap.” Weirdoze are buzzing on the same sugar high. “And Out” harkens back to Kanye circa 808s & Heartbreaks — a misfire turned generational benchmark — with crooning to confirm boy band legitimacy. Also this is rap, hence “Burrr,” which cannot escape Gucci Mane’s shadow. Sonically, The Ultimate Boy Band EP does not disrupt nor stumble. It’s expertly positioned into the safe zone of Soundcloud rap and bubblegum trap that is uploaded nationwide on the off-chance of becoming the next Lil Uzi Vert or Lil Pump. Except Weirdoze forsake their name by striving for the center instead of the fringe. Which brings us to “brand before band” philosophy.

That’s the music biz mantra since Odd Future and A$AP Mob became powerhouses. Replicated by HBK Gang, Brockhampton and ad nauseum via Soundcloud emo-rap collectives. The ideology is to be aesthetically polished and weirdo (face tats and colorful hair), amass social clout, and brand the fuck out of a hit song in hopes of getting signed. Weirdoze are talented and magnetic — there’s no denying it. They did not fake the wild release party at Holy Diver, even if it was 300 of their friends and family. That’s still an impressive social circle. The digital numbers don’t lie though. Many of the EP’s songs barely notch 1,000 plays. To date, Weirdoze’s lone hit, “HOW IT HAPPEN?” off 2017’s Not Normal, amassed 27,000 streams, while the remainder lag between 1,000 and 2,000. Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t care until it’s a million. The same applies locally. In a Submerge feature, the crew touch on the burdens of Sacramento with lucidity instead of jade. “The people who don’t make art aren’t supportive,” says Kneecap. And Arro piggybacks with positivity and a challenge: “They [non-artists] can evolve more.”

Weirdoze cannot solve this dilemma by branding on trend. That’s just not weird. However, Sacramento will respond to weird. The collective will thrive by embracing what’s inherent in themselves rather than mimicry of the Billboard charts. They are almost there, too. The proof is in “Fall4U,” which feels like a Weirdoze Radio playlist condensed to single form, and ambitious rock interlude “Heaven Snippet.” Take this quote by Kneecap in that same interview: “People want to do what’s popular; so it’s really trying to figure out how to be as cool as I can fucking be, and not in a fake way, in the most genuine way possible.” Amen. Now, prove it.

Stream Weirdoze’s The Ultimate Boy Band EP on Soundcloud or these streaming alternatives.

A Single Discussion:
DLRN’s “City Limits” (featuring Blxck Mo$es & PRVLGS)


DLRN is the perennial Sacramento rap mainstay which, ironically, is the theme of “City Limits.” Fellow local Blxck Mo$es says it all on the chorus: “Things don’t change round here / everything the same round here/ round here (2x).” The production, assisted by DLRN house band PRVLGS, artfully takes us to church, to the Dungeon Family and G-Funk, while remaining faithfully DLRN. Perhaps it’s personal preference, but my most admired Sac-centric songs tend to celebrate the atrophy or stagnancy of this city (historically, given our ambitious development identity of late). Trash Talk’s “Sacramento Is Dead” and Dusty Brown’s “This City Is Killing Me” always come to mind. “City Limits” is kinfolk to Brown’s single. “We are who we are and that’s the bottom line,” raps Sean Lamarr. It ties in to the theme of the forthcoming The Seven Year Itch EP. Love, loss and artistic struggle are at the emotional center, largely due to regional frustration, and the bravado of “City Limits” refutes the apathy.

Stream “City Limits” on Soundcloud. The Seven Year Itch EP was just released on September 29.


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Blake Gillespie
Blake Gillespie is a freelance journalist based in Sacramento. He's a former co-owner of Impose Magazine and has contributed at the Sacramento News & Review, the Sacramento Bee, the East Bay Express, Comstock's and His decade-plus of experience is in music, arts, sports, political and culture coverage.