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Crucial Measures + the Chlorophyll Cave Breathe Life Into Central Cali HC Scene

Crucial Measures (Photo: Ethan Johnson-May)

If you’ve ever toured on the West Coast, you’ve likely searched high and low for somewhere to play between the Bay and LA. The drive between those two long established scenes and urban areas is long and arduous, bordered on either side by rolling hills of scrub oak and farmland and not much else. Often bands historically have been forced to just power through the 6-8 hour trek. However, if you have toured the West Coast in the last two years or so, odds are you are familiar with the Chlorophyll Cave in San Luis Obispo, nestled almost equidistant between San Jose and Los Angeles. Run by three Cal Poly students, the Cave is a DIY venue run from their living room, just off of campus, and it provides a punk rock oasis in an otherwise barren area for underground music and art.

Erik San Miguel, resident of the Chlorophyll Cave and vocalist of Crucial Measures told me that while the Central Coast has occasionally had a larger scene in the '80s and '90s, in recent years it has definitely become more scattered across a few cities along the coast, and “SLO in particular wasn’t really the most welcoming place for punk music for a while as it’s sort of an archetypal yuppie college town whose majority music scene and university radio station are focused more toward commercial hipster indie and other less aggressive styles of music.”

So, in early 2017, the boys of Crucial Measures started hosting shows in there home, and the Chlorophyll Cave was born. 

Crucial Measures live at the Chlorophyll Cave (Photo: Ethan Johnson-May)

Since its inception, the Cave has hosted bands from up and down the West Coast, such as Drain, Regional Justice Center, Dying for It, Jawstruck, Discourage, Vaulted (Boston), Half/Cross, Pity Party, Provoke, and many more.

The residents of the Chlorophyll Cave also play in a hardcore punk band, Crucial Measures, which fans of Mindset, True Love, and FREE will be sure to enjoy. They are releasing a new EP, Transcendent Vision, on Feb. 16, and you can stream it below:

Vocalist Erik San Miguel is an adherent of Advaita Vedanta and the title “Transcendent Vision” is actually derivative of two Sanskrit terms found in The Bhagavad Gita and other essential texts of this spiritual tradition. The fusion of these two terms into “Transcendent Vision” was meant to invoke the meanings of both: to speak of a truly liberating, alternative way of seeing both oneself and the whole world beyond the narrow scope of individual egoism and materialism, to speak of the hope that through this mode of consciousness all living entities may one day overcome the suffering characteristic of the material world.” 

Recorded by Marc Estebillo in Union City, CA, Transcendent Vision is the Crucial Measures’ second release, and musically it demonstrates tremendous growth for the band. Erik attributes this to increased collaboration and “a much more unified direction and purpose behind our songwriting this time around.” The EP will be released on cassette on Feb. 16, marked by a release show at the Chlorophyll Cave with Same Son, Reclaim, and more.

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The Chlorophyll Cave can be found on Facebook. Stay tuned to Wide Eyed Noise for the Transcedent Vision cassette drop.

Tagged: crucial measures

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