I'll kick off the submission pile with the Chaw, hailing from the East Bay. The guy who sent me this expressed an affinity for the Janitors, whom you are probably familiar with if you visit this blog with any regularity. The Chaw are definitely kindred spirits in that realm of dark, fuzzed-scuzz psych rock; but whereas those Swedes like to drive a jam into a well-dug repeating groove, these guys sound more like the kind of dudes who'd sucker you into a drunken brawl at one in the morning. There's a palpable unifying ambiance in these songs, whether they're playing straight-ahead gutter blues or sinister ballads. The baritone vocals feature prominently and recall Nick Cave (especially the Grinderman stuff) more than a little bit -- though you'll hear no objection about that from me. At its heart this is an LP of meticulous pop songs, but with the rough edges of a Jim Morrison or Tom Waits sort of vehicle.