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It’s difficult to describe The Family Bandits without sounding as if one is writing advertising copy for a new soft drink. Sweet, simple, and refreshing instantly come to mind as applicable superlatives.

And the Bandits are definitively all of those things.

But that’s an oversimplification of what makes this band work, and delving in deeper reveals something more. Of course the boy-girl harmonies, lilting melodic content, and downright charming instrumentation lend to that syrupy first impression. But beneath that lies a rawness; an acerbic base in both their performance and songwriting.

Perhaps it harkens to their California Gold Country roots. The songs do instantly take you to a firefly-illuminated summer evening, but the solemnness with which they voice it invites skepticism to even this saccharine setting.