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"Show Review"

Lualta have what us "rock critics" (and I use that term loosely...very, very loosely.) call presence (read: enough attitude to make you think singer Michael Hernandez is a long-lost Gallaghar brother...with better eyebrows.) Thank goodness they have the substance to back it up. I'm having difficulty describing their sound - Brit-pop influenced vocals, rockin' music, a little funky-groovy, a little moody (and that last one's probably due mostly to the lighting, fog, and Hernandez's cigarette). Just go to their next show (see end of article). You'll enjoy it and you can pick up a free copy of their EP. You can check out impassive guitarist Delio Bacalski's low-slung, kick-ass, "I'm a f*ckin' rock star" playing (the attitude is available both on and off stage for your viewing pleasure), and Hernandez's strange form of Turrets Syndrome (I swear he was mouthing all the dirty words at the audience during the instrumental bridges of Lualta's songs). And if you have any suggestions on how the bassist can look bored without being boring, please tell him. Anyway, it's a good show worth checking out.
-by Amber Shaffer - SDAM.COM

"CD Review"

With a funky clavinet break seemingly straight out of an old ELO record to polish it off, the muscular first (well, second really, following a half-minute cryptic French demonstration) track on Catapult comes on like a loud old-fashioned rock song, the kind of album-leadoff potboiler that does a band proud, and is guaranteed to keep anyone awake on an Interstate highway for 3:50. Nice to hear a band that doesn't feel compelled to obsess over punk or this whole "emo" thing (sorry, record company pansy term there), but goes for the so-called jugular rock card instead. Good for them, and good for the listener.

Michael Hernandez sounds like some 4AD-style 80's singers to me, occasionally straining at the edges of his vocal chords instead of singing with a full gut, but he doesn't feel like he has to scream or shriek into oblivion to be compelling or cover for thin material or inject a lot of phony bravado. 'Tis good, there's a pleasant effortless to his approach. Don't know if "Surrey" is about the idealized English countryside location, but I detect a smattering of yummy Brit shoegazer on the track in between the rawk, and with a little inverted mixing the song could fit quite nicely on My Bloody Valentine's Loveless. Wow, here's a band with a little imagination and creativity in the studio.

Kicking off with some Lalo Shifrin-style keyboards, the trippy guitar feast "Violet" has some slinky, dazed-and-confused geetar work fattened up and wandering around the mix a few feet above the ground like a drunk, kaleidescope-colored poltergeist (or a Fresno County fog), recommended for damp, late-night drives around Palomar Mountain dodging semis on S.R. 76. Urgent, moody, driven, "Violet" might be Catapult's weird, elegant centerpiece, and damn if Willie Canedo's keyboards don't put me somewhere other than where I am. Leaving room for the arpeggioed, then snappy "Monday Morning Departure," you'll find a couple of surprising time and dynamic changes worthy of making you accidentaly spill coffee in your lap, and it's catchy the third or fourth time around even with a wet bum.

These guys and gal are pretty good, and they've got some songs to match a more than competent recording co-produced by Rob Stojak, designer of El Cajon's aptly named Revolt Studios where the album was cut last June. All except for "Give Way," recorded in late summer 2001 and definitely sounding like a different session with an at-first acoustic opening featuring a few less pedals before launching into more of a Dramarama romantic angst essay, plus Hernandez's vocals seems a little more clear, getting on top of a few jangly guitars instead of Catapult's mostly interstellar overdrive.

Worth your money, and worth your time. Appropriate aura of mystery: the Legos credit on the jacket. Danish toymakers strike another victory in coolness. So do Lualta.

by Tommy Hough - SDAM.COM

"One from the Gut"

Lualta are, as the host of “Fox Rox” (and CityBeat A&E editor) Troy Johnson put it, “bona fide rock stars-I saw the affidavit in the car.”

Or, maybe he saw it on the floor of the Fox 6 studios. Taking a page from Jimmy Fallon's line in Almost Famous-“leave a pint of blood on that stage”-Lualta singer Mike Hernandez instead left a pint of bile on the soundstage two weeks ago.

During the third take of the song “Surrey” for his band's network television performance debut, Hernandez barfed.

“Everybody hates me now, don't they?” he asked, semi-serious but with a nervous laugh, immediately after the now-infamous incident. I had the, uh, pleasure of co-hosting the show with Johnson, and had delivered the band on time-early even-at 9 a.m. But the Westerfield verdict interrupted taping on that Wednesday morning, and the band was forced to wait in the green room for three more anxious hours until they began playing. It was too much for the young, energetic sextet. So the band left the studio for a beverage break.

Bad idea.

Or a good one, if you measure by the band's oh-so-rock ‘n roll moment on screen, or by the raucous energy they put into “Surrey”-a little Sex Pistols-on-lithium ditty that includes the portentous chorus, “We're so sick/ but it's alright.” Drummer Gabe Gamboa,, keyboardist Billy Canedo, guitarists Mike Ortiz and Delio Bacalski and (especially) bassist Cindy Milliman (who forced a smile while Hernandez whispered a mid-song, post-hurl confession in her ear) came off with an endearing mix of professionalism and mischief.

“Nobody hates you,” I assured Hernandez, “Are you kidding? This'll be great for ratings, I bet.”

Hernandez didn't seem convinced. But that hour-long lapse in confidence didn't last very long. A few nights later, during a headlining gig at the Kensington Club to promote their upcoming EP, Catapult, Hernandez was back to his old, Liam Gallagher-channeling-Jim Morrison tricks: overturning drinks as he climbed over booths and audience members, slurring profanity-laced rants at lying ex-girlfriends one minute and no one in particular the next... finally aiming one tirade at this reporter:

“This fucking guy, Will Shilling, he's the fucker that got us drunk!”,

“Every show is getting a little crazier,” Lualta's manager, Eric Casas, told me later that night, as we watched Hernandez shuffling from one audience member to another after their set, laughing at the video tape of the “Fox Rox” performance, which was looping on the monitors over the bar.

“I don't know how he's gonna top this one, though.”
by Will Schilling - Citybeat

"CD Review"

"In 2002, local sextet Lualta received a San Diego Music Award nomination for "Best New Artist." After one listen to the band's latest, five-song EP "Catapult" (Red Camera Recordings), it is immediately evident why. Lualta creates a kaleidoscope of layered styles and textures that is simultaneously engaging and sedating. Songs tend to start out light and easy before exploding into an electrifying fusion of psychedelic, R&B and garage rock. Hazy, druggy guitars mutate into down-and-dirty, pedal-heavy hooks and melt with tender, melodic keyboards. Lualta's solid instrumentation, combined with lead singer Michael Hernandez's pleasantly screechy, cigarette-scorched vocals, induces hypnotic reverie then jerks you awake."
by Claire Caraska - SignOn San Diego


Catapult EP (Red Camera Recordings 2003)

This is a Vengeance/Slug Head Boys Vol.1 single (2008)

Nobody Loves You When You're Down LP (2009)



"Lualta means nothing to you. And that's on purpose. Named after a street in their childhood stomping grounds, Lualta is one of San Diego's biggest buzz bands,... but they'll leave the meaning of that up to you. It's in their music--a bratty blend of T.Rex/Stevie Wonder bump'n'grind rock'n'roll by-way-of The Sex Pistols irreverence--where you're most likely to figure them out. Fronted by a charismatic and smarmy lead singer (Mike Hernandez), Lualta has turned their twin-guitar attack (Delio Bacalski and Michael Ortiz) into catchy pop-rock epics, pulling the ears of both indie rock geeks and industry lackeys alike. Fueled by trial-by-fire baptisms at several music festivals around Southern and Northern California, talk of the band's engaging live sound has garnered awards and gigs at 91X-Fest (at San Diego's Coors Amphitheatre, with The Vines, Doves, Cake, and others), on television shows ("Fox Rox", on Fox Television), and in award nominations ("Best New Artists", San Diego Music Awards). But the proof isn't in the hype, it's in the product. And this is where Lualta shines. Song's like "Sentimental Valium", rarely fail to engage and then surprise the listener--be he/she a classic rock fan or underground cultist. Crunchy, elliptical riffs morph into psychadelic wonder. Bassist Quinn Leeper's funky-ass rudder builds the melodic spine of "Surrey", the band's emotional centerpiece, in which drummer Gabe Gamboa weaves polyrythmic tapestries around the chorus' brutal crescendos. But it's most likely to be Hernandez' plaintive, punky vocals that steal the spotlight. His Johnny Lydon-esque phrasing and highly personal, yet universally crafted lyrics frame the band's tight musicianship so well, it's crystallized communication as pop art."