Island vibe in a mountain town


When Feb. 1 | 6:30 p.m.
Where MontBleu Casino | Stateline, Nev.
Admission $22.50 advance | $25 at the door

It all started in a garage. Five high school buddies from Hawaii – Micah Pueschel, Joseph Dickens, Joseph King, Cayson Peterson and Adam Taylor – reconnected after moving to Santa Barbra for school and began covering reggae music in their free time.

“We started playing gigs, then we were writing our own music and it all evolved from there,” said Micah Pueschel, guitar and vocals for the group. They released their first full-length album, “No Time for Rest,” in 2007 followed by “Time Bomb” in 2010, which hit No. 1 on the iTunes reggae chart and remains in the top 20 on Billboards Reggae Album chart to this day.

Iration’s sound is most easily described as reggae-rock, but the group doesn’t necessarily follow the same style of similar bands that have poured out of Southern California in the past decade.

“I think the fact that we’re from Hawaii gives our music a different flare. We grew up listening to Hawaiian music and reggae and I think it plays into our sounds. It’s not something you can always pick out, but it’s there,” said Pueschel. “We push the genre a little more than some bands, we don’t do the punk or metal as much. It’s just good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, and we experiment with different tones and styles.”

Their third album, “Automatic,” was released in the summer of 2013 and is their most diverse collection of songs yet. It opens with the title track, which features the classic reggae-pop feel that is the foundation of Iration’s sound. The group experiments with combining a country vibe with laid back reggae beats on the tune “Go that Road” before returning to a more sultry roots reggae sound on “Mr. Operator,” while songs such as Undertow will appeal to those looking for a heavier electronic sound. Guitarist Lincoln Parish of Cage the Elephant helped co-produce several of the tracks and joins the group on three of the songs lending a grungy rock feel to the album.

“We recorded it in different sessions. The whole album was done over the span of two years, both recording and writing, so there’s a lot of difference from one song to the next,” Pueschel said. He credits their diverse sound to the fact that none of the band’s members have classical training in music.

“We all just kind of learned on the job, and I think that’s helped us develop an organic style,” Pueschel said. When they’re not playing music, the boys like to stay active and outdoors, enjoying both golf and surfing. They’re looking forward to hitting the slopes while spending some time in Tahoe.

Iration is returning to the MontBleu Casino with Natural Vibrations, The Movement and Micah Brown on Feb. 1.