New Music from The Shilohs

Occasionally you come across something super familiar, yet entirely new.  Something that just takes you back to the innocence of musical discovery.  In this case, I’m talking about The Shilohs, who have just released their latest EP, which is self-titled.  This track I’m tossing your way feels oddly like the pop music of my childhood, not overbearingly powerful, yet crafted in such a way as to encourage repeat listens.  Perhaps you’ll fill the same after you take a quick listen to this track.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01-History-of-Love.mp3]

Download: The Shilohs – History of Love [MP3]

New Music from Motorfik

For several years I’ve been enjoying the last Working for a Nuclear Free City album, and now that they have their new album heading our way, I’ve been devouring everything the group’s been onto.  Luckily, I stumbled across this new track from Motorifik, which is the side-project of WfNFC songwriter Phil Kay and Idrisse Khelifi.  The duo’s new work Secret Things will hit stores on November 9th.  This track shows their dense wash of melodic noise, juxtaposed with deep, cool vocals.  It all has a bit of a shimmer to it, as the melody gradually begins to escape the atmospherics.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01-SECRET-THINGS.mp3]

Download: Motorifik – Secret Things [MP3]

New Music from Allo Darlin

I’m a sucker for anything with a ukulele, even Iz.  So, I can’t help but to run this sweet new single from Allo Darlin, a band from Australia, via the UK.  They’ve got a new album coming out titled. well, Allo Darlin, and it hits stores on October 5th.  If we’re going to base the record on this track, its going to be nothing short of strong songwriting, light harmonies and bit of a groove.  You’ll never have a bad time listening to ukulele based pop music, promise.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/allodarlinmyheartisadrummer.mp3]

Download: Allo Darlin – My Heart is a Drummer [MP3]

Nobunny – First Blood

Rating: ★★★½☆

It’s funny, but Nobunny is probably more known for his stage antics, mainly wearing a bunny mask, than his music, but that’s all going to change.  His latest album for Goner Records, First Blood, has a sparkling sheen, erasing a touch of that garage sound that he hit you with on his earlier works.  But, this isn’t a bad thing by any means, rather it puts his songwriting on display, which you’ll finally realize is quite solid.

There’s a classic rock n’ roll sound ringing from the guitars on “Ain’t It a Shame,” sort of like Chuck Berry, but the jangle that continues brings a clean vibe with guitars, while his slightly off-tune vocals bring a touch of modernity.  He’ll continue the hint of swing on First Blood with “(Do the) Fuck Yourself,” which uses a nice little piano slide at key points to bring this track out of the garage and into your favorite dive bar.  Listening closely, you’ll probably realize that the “Fuck Yourself” is sort of a nice throwback bop.

You’ll get that sharp-knifed grit you’d recognize at his live shows once you arrive at “Gone for Good.”  It’s a fast paced number that just pushes ahead quickly, all the while Nobunny sort of gives the vocals a bit of a squeal–then you meet up with a nice little horn solo.  While he’s known for garage sounds, the influences here show that he’s really just out to have some fun, no matter what rock n’ roll cliches come about.  “Motorhead With Me” is almost exactly the same, though this is surely one of those tracks that will feature in the live setting.  Snappy drum rolls give the sense that you’ll be clapping along as the percussion bangs away, not to mention that catchy little chorus that’s easily sung loudly whilst spilling your Pabst on your neighbor.

Even though you’ve got bits and pieces of rock n’ roll history throughout, its the garage pop on First Blood that really stands out.  That opening guitar line on “Live it Up” just sucks you in, and right when the drums kick in, you’ll immediately be tapping your toes on the floor.  During the chorus, he has sort of a speak/sing delivery, which when placed alongside that killer opening guitar line just sounds sugary.  Still, if you want some evidence of solid songwriting, you can turn to the album’s closer, “I Was On (the Bozo Show).”  It’s a twangy strumming guitar that really holds the listener throughout here, slowing things down to let you reflect on the whole collection of tracks here, so just soak it on up.

You’ll probably won’t see shattering record sales for First Blood, which is sort of unfortunate, as almost every song on this has some classic appeal.  You also get the added bonus of knowing that the whole affair will be done in under a hour, so you really don’t have a thing to lose.  Since cleaning up the production quality, Nobunny has emerged from playing dirty pop in his garage to writing great songs you can sing along to while you and your buddies are drinking beer looking for the best night of your lives.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/03-Blow-Dumb.mp3]

Download: Nobunny – Blow Dumb [MP3]

New Music from Fresh & Onlys

This band is ridiculously good.  They’ve got something special in the live setting, and now, they’re recorded material is really catching fire too.  Their new record, Play It Strange, has been rocking on my iPod for a few weeks now, and its their best to date.  The new Fresh and Onlys album hits the streets on October 12th via In the Red, and you’ll want to grab hold as soon as you can.  Just take a small sample here, and see what’s in store for you this go round. Sounds good, right?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/The-Fresh-Onlys-Waterfall.mp3]

Download: The Fresh & Onlys – Waterfall [MP3]

New Music from So So Glos

This New York quartet is sure to to blow up your Friday.  So So Glos have slowly been building their notoriety over the last few years, and their prepping the release of their Low Back Chain Shift EP on October 12th on Green Owl.  The first few listens to their single “Lindy Hop” might make you recall some of the other acts coming out of the area, like VW per se, but there’s this grittier edge and true eclecticism that resonates when listening to this track.  This has me really excited for both the EP and future full lengths.  It’s like punk rock, but with a touch of class, you dig?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/sosogloslindyhop.mp3]

Download: So So Glos – Lindy Hop [MP3]

New Music from Aberfeldy

What on Earth is Aberfeldy?  Well, one thing is for sure, this Scottish quintet are making waves over seas, kicking out smooth pop gems, just like we expect those Scots to do.  They recently put out their album Somewhere to Jump From overseas, and we’re not sure when we’ll see it over on our side, but I’ve had this track, “Turn the Record Over” stuck in my head all day long.  It’s got a smooth vocal delivery, and a little more groovy soul twist then you usually find with your indie pop.  Want some candy? How about Aberfeldy?

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/06-Turn-the-Record-Over.mp3]

Download: Aberfeldy – Turn the Record Over [MP3]

The Black Angels – Phosphene Dream

Rating: ★★★½☆

You’re probably reading about The Black Angels because you think you’re into psychedelia, but you know what, as much as the band seems to live up to the name in their own attitude, its about time we just focus on the music rather than stuffing it in some tired sack with the rest of the bands unfortunately labeled as such.  Phosphene Dream sticks with the same pastiche the band’s utilized in the past, so don’t necessarily expect to find a whole lot of new territory covered, unless you’re looking for the ghost of Arhtur Lee.

It’s always a brooding affair when you get involved with an Angel’s record, and right from the get go there’s this coating in feedback and atmospherics, probably the one that gets them tagged as psychedelic. It sounds like another run of the mill track for the band (not that that’s a bad thing), but with about a minute to go the band just jumps into this driving energetic trip down the highway, fueled by squalling guitar and heavy-handed drumming. A brilliant closing minute. But, of course, they’ve got to pay homage for a bit to their San Francisco brethren of the sixties, which means “Haunting at 1300 Mckinley” is going to show you that jangling guitar stomp covered with guttural vocal accompaniment. Maybe its par for the course, but its never bad with this group.

There’s some changes adrift for the group, but you think that The Black Angels could take it even further.  “Sunday Afternoon” only gets tied into their typical sonic attributes with that little organ grinding in the background, not to mention the hollow effect of the vocal, but its one stepped up from being super stripped down.  You’ll love that solo and the jam in the middle for its raucous power, but man, if they just got rid of all that noise, that could be ridiculous.  Wait, they do get rid of it.  Listen to “True Believers” and you’ll find the direction that seems most logical for the band following Phosphene Dream. Just because they peel back a few layers doesn’t make the track any less dangerous or ominous, especially if you use the closing moments as your measuring point. Perhaps you’ll even notice hints of Clutch, with an homage to Austin, of course, on “Entrance Song.”  The throbbing bass builds the momentum, and while its a touch repetitive withe “rolling fast down I-35” lyric, there’s a bit of a haunting to this presence, perhaps one that can only be felt by those cruising down one of the most dangerous stretches of American highway.

While it may seem like there’s some criticism for The Black Angels with this review, its far from that.  They’ve been so successful with their efforts in the past, and dominated this dark sixties influenced rock scene, that it’s hard to find things to say that haven’t been thrown around hundreds of times.  Personally, they sound a whole lot more like Love than 13th Floor Elevators, but that’s one man’s opinion.  Phosphene Dream is going to be just as successful as their last effort, and perhaps the records in the future. They’re a great band with great songs.  It’s just plain simple.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/04-Sunday-Afternoon.mp3]

Download: The Black Angels – Sunday Afternoon [MP3]

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