Thee Oh Sees – Warm Slime

Rating: ★★★☆☆

San Franciscos’ Thee Oh Sees (formerly a dozen different names) just can’t seem to stop putting out recording after recording.  Lately, the psychedelic stylings have garnered continuous praise, allowing the band to increase their stake in the market share.  While they maintain the sound of Nuggets-era rock on their new album Warm Slime, they still do just enough to keep things relevant to today’s musical world.

When you open with a title track, like “Warm Slime” its really making a statement. Sure, the song is fueled by feedback and echoing vocals that sort of put you into a trance, but what really encourages the trance mentality here is that the song goes on for close to fourteen minutes.  At times, it seems as if you’re stuck in some sort of mind-warp, looping back and back and back again.  Had they kept it close to three or four minutes, most people would agree that this is a pretty solid track, but going on and on just seems like the band, and listener, just can’t escape.

Once you get past that epic little bit, you’ll find that you can have quite a bit of fun with Warm Slime.  Bouncing along to the swinging “I Was Denied” is highly recommended, and why not sing a long with the “la la la la” chorus that bangs with the crashing of the cymbals.  This is where this band was supposed to be, bringing a little sun-tinged psychedelia.  The fun doesn’t stop here either, as “Everything Went Black” has this sort of stomp to it that you usually associate with your dad’s obscure classic rock collection.  Yet, the delivery of the vocals does bring it into the present, even though such gentle shouting can surely be traced back to rock n’ roll ancestry.

Thee Oh Sees seem to be at their best when their rushing to fit everything into under three minutes. “Castiatic Tackle” just runs along like something straight out of The Cramps catalog, which really isn’t a bad thing, though with the speed, that rock-a-billy beat is a touch more disguised.  “Mega-feast” is probably my favorite track on Warm Slime.  It’s got all sorts of musical allusions: surf-rock, psychedelia, punk, rock-a-billy, and garage.  Toss it all in a blender and you end up with one killer hodgepodge song.  Then it all comes to a quick close with “MT Work,” and it’s here where you start to find things you could consider a detractor from this album.

Well, the detractors are all over this album, but you only really focus on them when the album comes to its close.  You’re left to wonder where all the time went, when it really feels like you breezed through everything in a matter of minutes. The vocals were shaky, but while you were having fun, you didn’t seem to notice.  Still, it doesn’t sit entirely well to have a lopsided album; you can almost take the first track and say its longer than the first.  These are all mild complaints, as fans of Thee Oh Sees already know what they’re in for, but if you’re not, you might want to preview Warm Slime for just a bit before you end up feeling like you’ve been duped.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Thee-Oh-Sees-I-Was-Denied.mp3]

Download: Thee Oh Sees – I Was Denied [MP3]

Austin A2W: Super Lite Bike

Sometimes it’s hard for us to find artists worthy of featured posts on the site since we live in a town completely saturated with new and veteran bands.  It is easy however when we are directed to bands with a unique and compelling sound like Austin boys Super Lite Bike.  Somehow we’ve missed out on these guys since their inception a couple years ago, but we are now on board and driving the band wagon of hype.  The Austin quintet known as Super Lite Bike have previously played in several bands around town with many names and many faces.  With a new name and the search for their own sound, the band is ready to release their debut LP Away We Go later this week.  What you’ll find on that record is what sucked us in from the get go: A band who understands what it means to try something new.  Sure they’ve got the progressive rock label on them, and that’s cool.  You would be wrong however to simply write them off as another “experimental rock” group.  Their style is like nothing else going on in Austin right now… and of course we dig that.  Be sure to pick up your copy of their new album on Thursday at your local record store.

You can also catch these guys live on Thursday at The Parish for their record release party starting at 9pm.  I know we’ll be there!

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/02-Raise-the-Colors.mp3]

Download: Super Lite Bike – Raise the Colors [MP3]

Japanther @ Red 7 (5/13)

Date 5/13/10
Location Red 7
Doors 9pm
Tickets Tickers @ Door

I will personally guarantee that the Japanther show at Red 7 on Thursday night will bring the damn house down.  Mark it down.  The lo-fi garage rockers will bring Muhammadali, Legsweeper, and Come and Take It while DJ Timmy Hefner spins things inside.  Not too sure on price so somebody let us know if you’ve got the deets.  Rock.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/07japantherspreadsothin.mp3]

Download: Japanthers – Spread So Thin [MP3]

Woven Bones @ Beerland (5/12)

Date Wednesday, May 12th
Location Beerland
Doors 800p
Tickets $5 @ the Door

It seems that nowadays, everyone is jumping back into the Austin music scene.  Recently, P4K raved about our very own Woven Bones, and you’ll all get a chance to catch this dark psychedelic act in action tonight at Beerland.  It’s super cheap, so you really don’t have a reason not to go, right?  To top it off, you’ll also get to see Miami’s Jacuzzi Boys and Austin’s OBN III.  It’s a night dedicated to debauchery, or so the music would indicate.  Regardless, lets go out there and celebrate our local scene.  Also, if you like the track below, go get yourself a copy of Casual Victim Pile, which chronicles our local heroes.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/03-Spirits-Roam-1.mp3]

Download: Woven Bones – Spirits Roam [MP3]


New Tunes from Circle Pit

Running a site like this does from time to time take a lot of research, so I was lucky when I came across this band from Australia.  Circle Pit are set to hit the states this summer, and all things point to nothing but continued exposure and fame, as they’re already getting big in their home country.  This gem comes off their new album Bruise Constellation.  It sounds a lot like everything you’d hear on our home turf; it’s full of sunny guitars reminiscent of beaches and guy/girl vocals you can sing along to while you’re hitting the road this summer.  Get ready America, here comes Circle Pit.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/06-circle_pit-another_trick.mp3]

Download: Circle Pit – Another Trick [MP3]

From The Mind Of Adi #5 @ Mohawk (5/12)

Date 5/12/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 6pm
Tickets $5 @ Door

Our homeboy Adi is back this week with the 5th installment of his From The Mind of Adi Series at The Mohawk.  The lineup this week features Austin up and comers The Hi-Tones, Royal Forest (formerly Loxsly), and The White Hotel.  Delicious food from The Woodland and ticket giveaways to the Pachanga Festival are also in the plans.  But wait!  That’s not all!  Stick around after Adi’s event and head to the inside stage for more great music from locals Golden Bear, Giant Cloud, and The Eastern Sea.  You won’t find a cheaper ticker full of some great young and local talent.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/goldenbear-nightlights.mp3]

Download: Golden Bear – Night Lights [MP3]

New Music From The Acorn

Word of a new album from ATH favorite band The Acorn has been spreading over the interwebs over the last few days or so.  Since we first heard the news, we’ve spun up our promo copy of the new LP No Ghost and are already jumping on the band wagon for this one.  If you aren’t behind this band yet, check out their latest single from the upcoming album “Restoration”.  The Gum also has title track “No Ghost” available for download.  You can get your hands on No Ghost June 1st via Paper Bag Records.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Restoration.mp3]

Download: The Acorn – Restoration [MP3]

The Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Jack White is on a mission of late. Between three bands touring extensively in recent years, a new White Stripes’ DVD, a marriage to his model wife, Karen Elson, and 2 albums in 10 months with his latest project, there’s no shortage of insatiable, swampy blues guitar riffs in his bag of tricks (or drum licks in this particular case).  Following up 2009’s Horehound is their latest Sea of Cowards. Right away the differences between the two albums are apparent, on the vocal front, there’s more Jack White’s smarmy howl, which was primarily the Kill’s lead singer Allison Mosshart’s forte; and secondly, there’s more secure percussive stylings from White, which steadies the record as a whole from start to finish. If there was a question about their last release, it was not focused on intent or motivation, but in the execution.

At first spin of the vinyl, the bass lines and kick drum rumbled my speakers. From the first few lines of ‘Blue Blood Bones’ it’s obvious that White has been practicing. He is no doubt one of the hardest working musicians in the game nowadays, but he manages not to over-extend himself. That may be in part to surrounding himself with like-minded uber-talented musicians which push towards high quality in every collaboration. With the afore mentioned Mosshart approaching rock goddess status, Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Dean Fertita and Raconteurs‘ bassist Jack Lawrence are by no means pushed into the shadows. Even though it may seem that way with White’s growing influence and Mosshart larger than life personality. In only 10 months the group seems to have hit their stride and are thriving in the new found confidence which translates to one of the best live shows in the world, though the creativity for song-writing is still lacking. As with the last, the intent is solid and the execution is much stronger, but the tunes just don’t carry as well on the turntable as well as they do on stage. For some, that’s not a bad thing; and I just happen to be one of those people. If you caught the group’s last stop through Austin at Stubb’s, you know exactly what I mean. These songs just can’t be contained in a formal studio release, though try as they might.

Sea of Cowards is much angrier than their former, allowing the band to show their angst and fierce nature, letting loose on tracks like ‘Hustle and Cuss’ and ‘I’m Mad’. ‘The Difference Between Us’ is the first track which solely highlights Alison Mosshart’s full potency as she dominates the track.  The first single, ‘Die By The Drop’ is no doubt one of the highlights of the album with Mosshart and White each taking turns howling alongside strong performances from Fertita and Lawrence. During ‘Looking At the Invisible Man’, White it seems to be making a symbolic gesture of his desire to step out of the spotlight and to let his accompaniment shine, and the realization that it is no use. He exclaims that he is the invisible man, though his presence is always felt. On the final track ‘Old Mary’, White recites last rites with a simple piano accompaniment before the band pounds out the finale in style. Something tells me this however is not the last breath of this rendition of White (and Company). In fact with White’s steadier percussive talent, I feel the best may be yet to come. This is by no means the best album of the year, but it is a worthy successor to Horehound.

New Music From Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

Winners of our top album spot last year Pains of Being Pure at Heart are wasting no time and returning this year with a 7″ single.  The vinyl release will hit stores June 8th via Slumberland and features this tasty new song “Say No to Love”.  As usual, we love the brit-pop sound they bring along with a lil different guitar sound reminiscent of 80s era Cure.  Keep it comin’ guys.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/saynotolove-1.mp3]

Download: Pains of Being Pure at Heart – Say No to Love [MP3]

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