New Power Pop from The Barreracudas

Any of you out there still in love with the Exploding Hearts?  Well, you should be, but if you’re looking for something new to help stoke the old power-pop flame, you need to check out this new jam from The Barreracudas.  The band has a new album, Nocturnal Missions, coming out in stores on October 25th via Douchemaster Records.  It’s a pretty straightforward rocker, but in the best way possible.  I mean, come on, who doesn’t love sing-a-long rockers?  And, if you’re interested in the band, they’ll be touring the States next week, including a November 6th date in Austin at 29th Street Ballroom.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/babybabybaby.mp3]

Download: The Barreracudas – Baby Baby Baby [MP3]

Playful Pop Tune from Moon King

For some reason the rain always affects the mood, so with recent cloudy skies, I’ve been looking for something a bit peppier to pick up my mood, and yours too.  Luckily, I’ve got this great little jam from Toronto’s Moon King.  They’ve just put out a new 7″ that you can grab for free right HERE, but I’ve got one of the tracks to offer you.  On this number, you get a more organic version of what Karen O did for the Where the Wild Things Are OST. The rest of the tracks are a little bit more electronic-folk, but it’s all good fun when you give it a listen.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/01-Theme-For-Moon-King.mp3]

Download: Moon King – Theme For Moon King [MP3]

New Track from Small Black (ft. Heems of Das Racist)

It’s true, we’re not super well-versed on the world of hip-hop, so we tend not to post a lot of it on our site.  But, when I heard this track, I just had to share it with you, as it involves one of my favorites, Small Black, working with Heems from Das Racist.  Apparently they all met while on tour, and recorded some tracks up in NY later in the year.  Those tracks, as well as a few others, will appear on Small Black‘s Moon Killer Mixtape, which hits the streets on November 11th.  It reminds me of the sort of soundscape M83 would create, but with Heems slowly walking his way through the rap, and occasional lyrics being added by the boys in Small Black. It’s pretty solid, so I hope you enjoy.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/02-Two-Rivers-feat.-Heems.mp3]

Download: Small Black – Two Rivers (feat. Heems) [MP3]

Even More New Music from Bare Wires

Are you tired of me raving about the Bare Wires just yet?  Since SXSW I’ve been digging their solid rock n’ roll records, and with the release  of their record Cheap Perfume just a few weeks from release, I’ll gladly drop a little more knowledge on you.  This track is not as powerful as the earlier tracks the band has released, but I dig the subdued attitude here, demonstrating the band’s ability to just throw good old rock n’ roll right in your face.  There’s no tricks, there’s no hype, just good old fashioned rock.  Sometimes that’s the best kind; actually, it’s always the best kind.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/barewires_backontheroad.mp3]

Download: Bare Wires – Back on the Road [MP3]

New Rocker from Terry Malts

During the summer I caught wind of this project by following the wonderful Magic Bullets, but Terry Malts is a beast of a different sort.  They’re a little bit more upbeat, and they’ve got a more direct approach to rocking.  Just this week they’ll be releasing a new 7″ on Slumberland Records, and we’ve got the A Side from the Something About You EP.  It breezes in quick, with a little bit of bounce.  You’ll find a sharpness to the guitars, and just one killer hook after another in the vocals.  I’m really excited to see where these guys go from here, and I hope you are too!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/01-Something-About-You.mp3]

Download: Terry Malts – Something About You [MP3]

New Music from Duchess Says

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting to hear from Duchess Says again.  Their show at SXSW two years ago was perhaps one of the most intense of my SXSW career, and frightening for some.  Out of nowhere the band have come out with a new album, In a Fung Day T, which should be in stores soon.  This first track seems to have put the reins on their ferocious electro-post-punk, which should do wonders for making the band a huge hit with audiences. There’s still that darkness lurking beneath the surface, and I can hear Annie-Claude still scatting out mono-syllabic noises, which both frightens and excites me. Dig it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Duchess-Says-Time-to-Reiterate-free-track.mp3]

Download: Duchess Says – Time to Reiterate [MP3]

Crooked Fingers – Breaks in the Armor

Rating: ★★★½☆

Our knowledge of Eric Bachmann predominantly resides in his roll as the main man in Archers of Loaf, but as years have gone by, Eric’s crafted some beautiful records.  Some have been under his own name, but most have come via the Crooked Fingers moniker, and Breaks in the Armor might just be his best non-AoL record yet.

Bachmann has this greatly affecting voice, and it’s this voice that carries album opener, “Typhoon.”  Musically, the song has this dark trickling guitar line, which fits the vocal nicely, as Eric’s voice has this deep wooded quality to it.  By the time we move into the second track, “Bad Blood,” you get two things that Breaks in the Armor is really all about, Backmann’s storytelling, and this sort of alt-country, middling between mellow rocker and Americana.

But, while those elements definitely earn their keep throughout the entirety of this record, there are quieter moments for which I’ve always appreciated Eric’s solo work, especially with Crooked Fingers.  “The Hatchet” is little more than a slow-picked ballad, with Bachmann doing his best to yank at your emotions through the power of his voice.  It’s similar to Merge Records label-mate Richard Buckner, using little more than the vocal to evoke maximum emotion. “Heavy Hours” also lives in this same vein, although you’ll find a bit more of a lush arrangement helping to carry the harmony along, not to mention the help of Liz Durrett on backing duties. For some reason, this track sounds a whole lot like Bill Callahan, not that there’s really any need for comparisons, since Mr. B has been around for so long–perhaps it should go the other way!  If you’re not sure which side to take, listen to “Our New Favorite,” the album closer, before you make up your own mind.

One of the best things on Breaks in the Armor, aside from the emotional storytelling, are those semi-rockers that pop up here and there. “The Counterfeiter” is a gem of a track, and it picks up a rolling movement from the get-go.  In the end, Eric belts his way in and out of the chorus, but in doing so with Durrett (again) he maximizes the song’s emotive quality.  He even has a bit of fun, throwing a little “whoo” in the middle of the track.  These little flourishes have been present throughout the Crooked Fingers period, but it’s the lush arrangements that accompany songs like “Your Apocalypse” that really show the growth  in Bachmann’s writing and recording.

The release date of this record seems perfect, as fall begins to creep into our lives, bringing cooler weather and darker days. Breaks in the Armor is filled with introspective stories, allowing you to search on your own during those days when the rain keeps you inside.  For a man with such a rich musical history, Bachmann’s work with Crooked Fingers only seems to be improving with each continued release.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Crooked-Fingers-Typhoon.mp3]

Download: Crooked Fingers – Typhoon [MP3]

Poppy New Single from The Echo Friendly

Perhaps we get burdened by the endless stream of love songs on the Interwebs, but this new single is really winning me over.  The Echo Friendly just released this new single from their album Same Mistakes, which you can pick up on Cantora Records now, and it’s a gem of a track.  Trading vocal duties between male and female vocalists, bits of atmospheric feedback, and a nice little stomping groove to keep everything moving along .  This is a perfect tune to wrap up your Friday listening experience, so I hope you enjoy it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/theechofriendly_boats.mp3]

Download: The Echo Friendly – Boats [MP3]

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