Above, we’ve got San Diablo All Stars’ latest album, A Field Guide to Modern Trauma. The group features artists such as Katie LaDubz, who’s made her mark on SOTB over the last few months. Sonically, the album reminds me a bit of a mix between The Roots and The Beastie Boys. It’s conscious, but also has a live band sort of feel to it that makes it unlike your traditional regional supergroup. Each member’s contributions help to make this album a banger.
Two of the tracks I’d like to highlight are the two that introduced me to the album, “Klepto” and “Nothing Song.” The respective intro and outro of the album, these two help tie the concepts presented on the album together. From trying to figure out where one belongs to trying to figure out how one can voice their opinions in a way that’s conducive to changing the status quo, we get those sorts of feelings in bunches throughout the album. For example, “Klepto” is, on its surface, a fiery track about stealing from stores. A deeper dive has the song representative of the outcasts of the world, just as the rest of the album does. The album truly does speak on a lot of “modern” traumas and how we sometimes tend to navigate them.
SDAS were nominated for a San Diego Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Artist. After hearing the album, I get why they’d receive such an honor. Check it out above and remember to support dope music in all its forms.