Rave-Ups, Cruzados: Some Major Hurdles

Pop music, like sports, has its major and minor leagues--and the veteran Cruzados and Rave-Ups displayed different, though equally flawed approaches Friday night at the Coach House to dealing with life in the minors.

Once considered one of the Southland’s bands-most-likely, the Rave-Ups now appears resigned to going unheard. Though armed with sharply detailed and insightful songs, the quartet performed as if the audience had already left, with Jimmer Podrasky’s listless vocals barely making it to the microphone. Only during the encore--the atmospheric “Radio” and a jumping “Cotton Fields"--did the band flash its old, winning spirit.

In sharp contrast to the Rave-Ups’ lethargy, the Cruzados’ Tito Larriva seemed almost desperate to make major-league music. After an unsuccessful attempt at anthem rock, Larriva is pushing a metal sound placed somewhere between AC/DC and Bon Jovi. Larriva gave the trashy songs everything he had (with a vocal delivery that contained equal parts of Bon Scott, Jim Morrison and Yosemite Sam), but only on the Spanish language ballad “Flor de Mal” did he demonstrate just how effective he can be.