El Gato Dice

El Gato Dice

Oakland, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | SELF

Oakland, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Alternative Indie




"KZSU- Tres"

Ramzi Salti
Reviewed 2018-12-06
San Francisco’s El Gato Dice is at it again and has released their third CD, conveniently enough called “Tres.” While that title doesn’t wow the imagination, the CD itself is actually more adventurous than previous releases. Remnants of singer/songwriter and pop-shoegaze are still there, but this time the record is peppered with glam, pop, and even shards of metal. The result is a ten track voyage that still most accurately identifies as post-punk, but some parts are much more commercially accessible while other parts are experimental. It’s an engaging listen, that nods to 90s glam, 70s art rock, current pop, and decades of post punk.

Recommended Tracks (4) Someday Soon and (8) Keep A Fire

FCC: mild adult language on (3) Alright Already

1. Simplest Design (3:49) begins in understated fashion but ultimately introduces elements that will be thematic throughout “Tres.” Alternating vocalists (Pollyanna Bush makes several guest appearances- starting here), pop-shoegaze guitar, spoken word, and unexpected bursts of energy define the track.
2. Tame (3:18) is catchy, infectious, and has a deliberate 90s sound (Pavement meets Love and Rockets.)
3. Alright Already (2:43) is light commercial metal or heavy Carolina indie rock, depending on your vantage point. It’s mildly political and does feature the only non G-rated language.
4. Someday Soon (4:28) follows with a pop guitar and lush chorus, also very 90s but brought into the modern era. It too is a slow burn but comes together at the end. A lot happening but never busy.
5. Earthbound (2:28) is a short, almost novelty track that features affected vocals (like a ringmaster through a megaphone) and a very college-radio indie feel.
6. Hoy No Hay (0:54) comes completely unannounced as a 45 second death metal intro to
7. Tres (3:12) is a genre-bending instrumental that picks up where “Insatiable” from the Dos CD left off, but also dabbles in Sabbath 70s psychedelia and…space movie soundtracks.
8. Keep A Fire (3:57) is probably the most topical (gun control) and fashion-forward of the album. It’s angry Cake or political Beverly-Hills-era Weezer, and then it proceeds to a frenetic ending. This one features David Jesitus and Alexis Blair fully alternating on call-and-response vocals and it ends up being a lot of fun.
9. Stop Leaning (3:06) is a semi-sweet little ballad again featuring Pollyanna hitting the high notes. Belinda Carlisle dueting with Morrissey (?) perhaps.
10. Bonus Life (4:17) closes out “Tres” on a somber, psychedelic, powerful note. It’s 70s glam, set to a plunging distorted guitar and actual mock video game ending. - KZSU.org Ramzi S.

"New Music To Delight Your Ears"

The sparky Keep A Fire from San Francisco trio El Gato Dice starts off like Captain Beefheart having an epiphany before striding confidently into a quirky, frenetic track that sounds like The B52s if they'd been lead by David Byrne. - Devil Has the Best Tuna

"Indie Band Guru- Tres"

At a point in music shaped by formulas and marketing strategies, where the value of a pop song is derived almost entirely from the technology used to produce it, El Gato Dice’s latest album, Tres, reminds us of an earlier time when the heart of pop music was still red, beating, and engendering noise complaints from within countless garages across the world.

El Gato Dice, telling us what the cat says since 2009

In case the name hadn’t indicated as much, Tres is by no means the band’s first contribution to the music scene. The members of El Gato Dice have been explaining what the cat says since 2009 over the course of three albums sequentially named Uno (2010), Dos (2015), and Tres (2018). Tres, their most recent collaboration, continues this meowgnificent aural tradition by blending sounds from all the most nostalgic moments in your beat-up CD collection – even the ones that melted in your car that one summer. - Keith P/ David J

"Time Traveler- Tres"

Join me this Friday at 9 a.m. PT on KZSU Stanford when I'll be digging deeper into the excellent new album from El Gato Dice. "Tres" is the, uh, third album from this excellent indie alt-rock trio from right here in the San Francisco Bay Area. The 10-song set provides a wide variety of musical styles — from melodic pop-rock to art-rock and tracks that border on metal. Throughout my three hours, we'll sample a number of the different cuts that make this such a compelling listen. Plus, a short stack of classics at 10:30 a.m. from one of your favorite years in the 1980s. Tune in! - KZSU Time Traveler via Facebook

"Indie Band Guru- Dos- original eclectic west coast sound"

Indie Band Guru is still based in NYC and there is a great music scene here but we like to experience music from all over especially the West Coast. Luckily we have made some good friends in the band El Gato Dice that keep us up to date.

El Gato Dice

The San Francisco based group produces a pretty experimental indie rock sound that shows off the freedom of the California music scene. There are many influences here as founder Dave grew up in Cleveland, Ohio loving surf and shoegaze music while other original member Bob hails from the North Carolina college underground scene. Mix that along with the eclectic experience that is San Francisco and you get something quite interesting and different.

Earlier this year El Gato Dice released their 2nd full length album simply titled Dos. The 10 track record continues to explore a wide variety of genres. From the instrumental opener “Matador” you know right away you are in for some different here. Although the next track is titled “Clean” the mess of dynamic sounds coming at you from every angle is quite raw and dirty. The softly sung vocals are a nice antithesis of this. The attack of the acoustic guitars stands out. The band’s most common tone is heard on “So Say”. A melancholic droning that reaches an emotional and anthemic climax along with melodic guitar lines and harmonies. To truly experience El Gato Dice “Insatiable” is a must listen. The 6 and a half minute instrumental track seems to have everything they do mashed into one. It is deep, it is dark, it is soaring. This needs to be the soundtrack on my alarm clock for getting my day started from now on. By the time you get to the acoustic closer “Walk A Mile” your mind is in need of its relaxed sitting around a campfire feel. Definitely a record to listen to start to finish.

Check it out here: https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elgatodice2

And keep up with more from El Gato Dice at: https://www.facebook.com/elgatodice - indiebandguru.com

"KZSU review- Dos"

Ramzi S.
Reviewed 2015-07-07
El Gato Dice [DOS]
All tracks FCC Clean

This is the second official CD by El Gato Dice and offers an eclectic mix of songs, some simply as duos, some trios, some as a five-piece. The CD has a kind of melancholic feel, like Death Cab versus the Smiths. It is post-punk/ Indie Adult AAA. FCC Clean.
**Best Tracks: 5 and 7
1. Matador- one minute moody instrumental sounding like a sad matador who reaches a melancholic ending with his bull. Compare to a Cure or Smiths intro.
2. Clean-post punk lead track with indie rock verses and quirky oriental scales and vocal chants. And a big chorus.
3. Trap- post punk tongue in cheek number about someone who gets the best of you EVERY time. Very Chapel Hill/DC sounding.
4. So Say- more traditional El Gato Dice sound- a melancholic song, not really sad but powerful in the verses. A celebratory melancholy like Radiohead before they got really far out.
**5. Haymaker- tongue in cheek country-alt-rocker that would be quite at home on a Bonneroo stage complete with slide guitar and three part harmonies! (1st ever)
6 Walk A Mile- a love story about ghosts, or at least seeing what you WANT to see. Indie but has an arena feel and mass chorus ending.
**7. Insatiable- this 6 minute instrumental defies logic and breaks the mold- and is the biggest hit so far! It's part spy movie, part space odyssey, with a shoegaze end not to be missed. It's actually about a robot and his day at work.
8. Rain Song- broody, powerful 90s post punk rocker about- rain! And water water everywhere.
9. In Defense- the 1st song written from the list of 10- it’s just a defiant little rocker a/la Wire meets the Foo Fighters
10. Walk A Mile- released in acoustic format in 2013, it was brought back as the perfect comedown for the 9 electric tracks that came before it. - Ramzi

"KAMP review- Dos (Thumbs Up!) sounds like..."

I had never heard of this band before but I saw their name and that they had a picture of a cute cat on the back and I knew I had to review them. I would El Gato Dice's Dos is the ecuivilent of 80's rock pop but for the indie genre. They are labeled as indie on their website, but I get more or a rock and pop vibe fromt their sound. It makes me want to sway my head and hips and clean my house. The lyrics are cute and the instrumentals are supper easy to listen to making it a very light album that you should play on your show.

I like that there is this slight contradiction of what I think is going to be cheery pop songs and then the subtle rock and roll inputs of bass and drums. Also there are moments of grunge and electronic sounds you don't expect either which really sold me this album. El Gato Dice is a fairly cool band from San Francisco, with a unique sound that falls into many genres, and best of all: their vocals. Thumbs up.

Sounds Like: Vampire Weekend but definitely not Vampire Weekend

The Presidents of the United States

Recommended Tracks:

3 Trap: upbeat, poppy but very rock band sounding, fun to play on radio

7 Insatiable: gritty, no vocals

4 So Say: slow, soothing, indie, random good female vocals come out of nowhere

Name: Taylor Ducklow

Date Reviewed: 11/14/2015
rock pop - kamp radio U of Az, Taylor D Music Dir.

"The Music Feed reviews Uno"

3.8 stars for "Hangman Don't Falter" ! - The Music Feed

"SPIP Music- Uno Review"

So my take? Kinda dig the live performance (and I’ve heard the two most recent shows got some pretty good reviews, so kudos to you guys!), and the few tracks I heard are good too. I think their bio description is pretty accurate. There’s a lot of early 90’s feel in there (old REM’ish indie rock) and it brings back memories of bands from back in college… They pull off this sound without sounding “dated” (it doesn’t sound like I’m listening to an old tape from the 90’s – there’s a freshness mixed in there…). I can see the live performance would definitely have you bobbing your head along, and it’d probably benefit you (if you’re in the area) to check out their site or facebook page and try to catch ‘em live… If you’re so inclined to preview their sound further and even snag the CD or mp3’s, get yourself over to CDBaby… This entry was posted in Artist Review, Video and tagged Americana, El Gato Dice, Indie, San Francisco on December 12, 2010 by spipasucci. - See more at: http://www.spipmusic.com/?paged=9#sthash.hnXxot0J.dpuf - spipmusic

"Indie Band Guru reviews Uno"

Got reached out to today by a band from San Francisco, California. Bless how easy it is to hear music from everywhere with this thing called the internet. My new west coast friends are El Gato Dice, translated as “The Cat Says”. He may have eaten the canary. They are an indie 2-piece that is hard to pin down into any one category do to the eclectic mix of their songs. Both melancholy and manic mixed into one interesting stew. This kind of mix could be expected when you combine a man from Cleveland who grew up loving Surf and Shoegaze music with a college man from North Carolina who followed Archers Of Loaf and mash them together in the confines of San Francisco. - Indie Band Guru

"Insatiable- song of the month (instrumental) 12/2015"

'Clean melodic articulation and absorbing rhythm endow 'Insatiable' with a captivating, emotional gravity.'

The Akademia
December 2015 - The Akademia

"Neufutur Magazine- Dos"

Dos is a collection of 10 tracks by San Francisco’s El Gato Dice. Matador is the opening effort, showcasing a thoughtful introduction that deflty blends together deliberate arrangements and a fuzz that rises and falls as the track continues. El Gato Dice are able to create a solid introduction to their Dos without having to sing a single world. Clean dovetails nicely with this first effort, tying together rich vocals (calling forth Dave Grohl and Steven Page) with tempestuous and impassioned instrumental arrangements. Trap is a high-water mark for Dos. The fullness that is achieved by El Gato Dice here is hard to match as all constituent elements – vocals, drums, guitar and bass – are able to create something gnarly and impressive in its raw power. so Say is another strong effort from Dos, linking together rock with alternative and containing just enough in the way of pensive guitars and supersonic vocals to appease fans of 1990s alternative and 1970s rock alike. The intricacies of the arrangements here stand up to repeat listens; while the overall track feels very straight-forward, a more intent focus will yield considerable depth to the song.

The acoustic version of Walk A Mile concludes Dos, providing a perfect counterpoint for the opening strains of Dos. The vocals are front and center during this composition, with little more than a guitar filling out the background. When a second set of vocals enters into the equation, there is a considerably greater depth imbued to the composition. With such a hopeful and richly emotive closing to the album, El Gato Dice are able to stoke a fire in listeners that will only be sated when the band releases a new album. Check out their Bandcamp for samples from Dos.

Top Tracks: Matador, Walk A Mile

Rating: 8.3/10 - James McQ


Hangman Don't Falter
New Found Stranger
Hold Still 
Hating It Now
Kick Yourself
Brick Figures

Silenced EP (2013)
Walk A Mile

DOS Full Length (2015)

Matador,  Clean,  Trap,  So Say,  Haymaker,  Walk A Mile.  Insatiable.  Rain Song,  In Defense,  Walk a Mile (acoustic)

Tres (2018)

Simplest Design, Tame, Alright Already, Someday Soon, Earthbound, Hoy No Hay, Tres, Keep A Fire, Stop Leaning, Bonus Life

6/2019  "Nothing" acoustic single



El Gato Dice dates back to 2009, when Bob Crews  and David Jesitus were in a post-punk project in SF that needed a reboot.  David dusted off some old punk and shoegaze tracks he had in his arsenal, and Bob folded in his parts.  Suddenly a new band was born.  They recorded “Uno”- a 7 track EP, in Berkeley in 2010 and played locally with bassist Ugur Pece.  It was a little bit Smiths, a little bit Superchunk.  Nice.

Life invariably happened and the gang took 2011 and 2012 off.  But it wouldn’t go away. A 2012 radio interview (TMG)  reignited the fire live, on-air. In 2013 David went back to Berkeley to create the acoustic “Clean” and “Walk A Mile” tracks and the response was excellent.  So Ugur joined full time and “Dos” was worked on 2014-2015 and released summer 2015.  This led to college radio, great press, and shows upon shows.   Probably the biggest show was in support of Sub Pop’s Kyle Craft at the Bottom of the Hill in 2016.  And that acoustic take of "Walk A Mile" is still their biggest Spotify track.

Life happened again.  Ugur relocated and Alexis Blair (Mystic Priestess) stepped in on bass for another nice opening gig (Cymbals Eat Guitars), and just like that- they’re off and running.  Summer 2018 sees the release of the ambitious 10 track “Tres”, with lots of pop, punk, glam, garage, and other unidentified ingredients.  “Tame” is the lead single,  offering a glammed-up Pavement sound.   "Someday Soon" and "Simplest Design" also made the college rounds, charting on KXSF and KZSU.   Daily interest at WJCU also led David to do an impromptu Ohio show.  All this time, the band was also cruising to the Elite Eight in NMI's March Madness battle. (thanks, voters!)  

2019 sees a singles movement, with wistful "Nothing" leading the way, already on air in SF (102.5fm.)  The band plans a slew of singles this summer, to lead to an eventual (probably sweet AND cathartic) full release in 2020.  Watch for "Calle Perfecto", "Mania", and "Half Way" on a radio dial (ET or ground) near you soon.  You can't keep a good cat down.  EGD is no exception.

But don't take our word for it.  Check out the reviews (Devil Has the best Tuna, KZSU Time Traveler, NMI, NuFutur, and our favorite Indie Band Guru.)

Band Members