L.A. DRUGZ Revives Punk Power with “Outside Place” Reissue! L.A. DRUGZ
Reviewed by Sam Lowry

L.A. DRUGZ is reissuing their acclaimed EP “Outside Place”, celebrating its blend of power pop and ‘70s punk with renewed energy and timeless appeal.

L.A. DRUGZ is set to reissue their seminal EP, "Outside Place,"out now via Hovercraft Records, marking a decade since its original release. Hailing from the punk and power pop realms, the band features Justin Maurer (CLOROX GIRLS, SUSPECT PARTS), James Carman (MANIAC, TELEPHONE LOVERS), Cezar Mora (BAD MACHINE), and Johnny "JD" Reyes (IMAGES, BAD MACHINE). Their collective pedigree brings a unique blend of musical experience, shaping L.A. DRUGZ’s distinctive sound.

Formed in the wake of CLOROX GIRLS' dissolution in 2010, Maurer, Mora, and Carman started crafting new material that would evolve into "Outside Place." This EP, initially released in 2013, quickly became a staple in power pop circles. Its reissue aims to remind listeners of its impactful presence and introduce its vibrant energy to new fans.

"Outside Place" merges the catchy hooks of power pop with the raw intensity of '70s punk, drawing inspiration from icons like THE NERVES and BUZZCOCKS. Tracks like "Ooh Ooh Ooh" and "Marina" highlight Maurer's knack for writing irresistibly catchy tunes. Recorded in Kevin Carle’s Calimucho studio and mastered by Daniel Hadji Husayn at North London Bomb Factory, the EP boasts an authentic analog warmth, appealing to vinyl aficionados and punk purists alike.

The music video for the title track, "Outside Place," pays homage to the '80s cult classic "Repo Man." Directed by Brett Roberts, the video features cameos from various punk luminaries and was shot guerilla-style across Los Angeles. Notably, Maurer’s Hyundai Accent was ironically repossessed shortly after filming, a fitting anecdote for the video’s theme.

Maurer’s multifaceted career extends beyond music. As an American Sign Language interpreter, he's worked with prominent figures such as Michelle Obama and Bernie Sanders, and has interpreted for punk legends like Alice Bag. His play "Falling on Deaf Eyes" explores his experiences as a CODA (Child of a Deaf Adult) and a punk musician, underscoring his diverse talents. Recently, he collaborated with Troy Kotsur on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and voiced Kotsur’s acceptance speech at the 2022 Oscars.

With the reissue of "Outside Place," L.A. DRUGZ invites both longtime fans and new listeners to experience their infectious blend of punk and power pop. This re-release not only celebrates their enduring legacy but also reinforces their commitment to the vibrant punk rock ethos. Dive into "Outside Place" out now and revel in the timeless energy of L.A. DRUGZ.