Photo by Silvana Munoz

After getting started in Charleston, pop rock trio Heyrocco relocated to Los Angeles and have since gained a fourth member and traded in the teenage grunge for a more polished sound. To kick off the new year, the group released two new songs Jan. 11 and will return Feb. 12 to play Lo-FI Brewing for the final show of a 12-day tour. 

Guitarist/vocalist Nathan Merli, bassist Chris Cool and drummer Tanner Cooper secured warehouse space for a studio in east L.A. and have gradually chipped away at their sound the past few years, unearthing recordings that diverge from Heyrocco’s earlier garage days. And with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Pat “Tex” Mertens last summer, the group solidified its fresh concept heard on the latest releases, “Hollywood” and “Do Your Worst.”

“‘Hollywood’ was a riff we played a lot,” Merli told City Paper. “It had other lyrics — they weren’t good. Like three months ago we were playing it and I was like, ‘Would you be interested in helping me put together a concept of what this could be? It sounds like we are in an empty pool at a skateboard party in L.A. Why not sing about Hollywood?’ So we sat around with a piece of paper and a pen, which doesn’t happen all the time.”

The heavier percussion heard on “Hollywood” does retain a trace of angst, but the ukulele jams traced across “Do Your Worst” are pretty-boy pop all the way, just like Heyrocco’s 2021 single “Love Drunk,” which the band just put out a music video for. 

“The band started from a couple of frustrated kids who felt like being creative,” Merli said. “It amazes me that we still like each other and hang out and make music.”

Heyrocco will play Lo-FI Brewing Feb. 12 with local post-punk outfit Yawner and Nashville-based rock band Have A Rad Day, aka H.A.R.D.

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