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October 09, 2003|Kevin Bronson; Steve Baltin

Shoegazer with a kick

To hear "Drizzle," the debut EP by L.A.'s Run Run Run, you'd never guess much of the recording was done in do-it-yourself fashion. "A couple tracks I did right here in my bedroom, layering and layering and layering on top of those melodies," guitarist Xander Smith says. The finished product is a slice of shoegazer that nods toward seminal British acts My Bloody Valentine and Ride and stands alongside standout "newgazers" such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and the Stratford 4. "There's something wrenching about the guitars that really speaks to me," Smith says of the dense, textured sound. "The songs really lend themselves to that ethereal treatment." It's not all dreamy, though -- Run Run Run's aggressive underpinning speaks to the influence of bassist Jeramy Gritter, whose punky "Gimme a Gun" is the EP's hidden track and whose 'fro-swinging stage presence gives the quartet a thrash quotient. Joining Smith and Gritter is guitarist Adam Grey, who played with Johnny Marr & the Healers and is one of several of the band's U.K. ties. Phil Cunningham, a member of the latest incarnation of New Order, played on the EP. The British connection continues at Run Run Run's upcoming show, next Thursday at the Knitting Factory, opening for ex-Ride guitarist Mark Gardener.

One last thing

Seemingly the last thing a band would want when they're about to go into the studio to cut their major-label debut is a lineup change. But that's exactly what happened to Malibu-based rockers Whitestarr a month before they begin work on their Atlantic Records debut. Cisco Adler, vocalist of the Malibu-based sextet, says a recent split with the group's rhythm guitarist has worked out well for the band, though. "We're six now, so we go all or nothing," he says. "There are no more tiebreakers." Before heading into the studio, the group, whose sound is described by Adler as "futuristic retro, '70s rock 2010 wrap-around," has a couple of big gigs, including one at the end of the month in New Orleans as part of the New Orleans Music Experience. Whitestarr, whose members include the offspring of Roy Orbison, Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts and legendary producer Lou Adler, manages to squeeze in some local gigs. "We love to play," Cisco Adler says. "If we don't have anything booked, we'll be playing at the Dune Room [in Malibu] and not telling anybody."

Fast forward

Indie hip-hop artists the Procussions celebrate the release of their album "As Iron Sharpens Iron" with a gig Wednesday at the Temple Bar.... Sacramento rockers Low Flying Owls, impressive in a recent set at the Scene in Glendale, play Spaceland on Friday; check out the cascading guitars on "Looks of a Killer." ... Singer-songwriter Tom McRae, in town from Great Britain to shop his album "Just Like Blood," plays tonight at the Hotel Cafe.

-- Kevin Bronson, with Steve Baltin

E-mail us at buzzbands@latimes.com.

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