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Gleeful Tune from Joanna Gruesome

jg12After an excellent album on Slumberland Records last year, Joanna Gruesome are here with a brand new 12″ to illustrate why they’re one of the most exciting acts of the last few years.  They’re splitting this 12″ release with Trust Fund, with three songs coming from each band; the US release will come via HHBTM in late September.  The immediate infectious quality of this song comes in via a jumping rhythm and male/female vocal duties.  There’s even some erratic shouts in the background to help keep the band’s edge in tact.  Fall in love with Jerome below:

Touring w/ a Band: The Handy Guide w/ A. Sinclair (Part 4)

10329202_838407742854358_2434802823394545817_nA. Sinclair have been hitting the road hard, but they had a day off yesterday, so we encouraged Brendan Bond to enjoy the time off, and then get back to us.  He obliged, and he’s back with yet another look into the life of a band on the run.  There’s no need for much more introduction, as we hope you’ve been following the band in our last few installments, so without further adieu…here you go folks.  Read More

New Single from Gap Dream

strongbadLast year Gap Dream released Shine Your Light, and it was one of those albums I told everyone they need to listen to…though I doubt many listened.  Regardless, it’s nice to see Gabriel Fulvimar back again with a split-release with his touring friends, Part Time.  His side of the release offers up this really dreamy pop composition.  It’s the perfect sort of tune to comfort you this weekend, letting your mind drift away as you feel the bubbling pulse that warbles beneath the mix here.  You can buy this split 7″ from Burger Records on August 26th, or, catch the two bands traveling around the country, inclluding an Austin date on August 28th at Hotel Vegas.

Austin Spotlight: Alex Napping Ready Album

punktummyAustin musicians have had a pretty rad week. Although we’ve mostly dealt with the rocking side of things with Spray Paint and Jonly Bonly, but today we get a glimpse at an emerging Austin pop act, Alex Napping.  That being said, we’ve already caught the band’s great live set…not to mention talked about various members of the band in their other projects (Major x 3, anything w/ Andrew Stevens).  I love how this tune is drawn out over five minutes, gradually building pace after a soft little opening.  Alex Cohen’s voice couldn’t sound any better; she don’t need no auto-tune.  Look for the band’s debut album, This Is Not a Bedroom, to come out via our friends at Punctum Records in late September.

Stickers Share Second Single

stickersI’m trying to get my energy up for this weekend, so I feel like kicking things off with a bit of a rocker; it’s the newest single from Seattle’s Stickers.  There’s this pounding rhythm spurned forward by dissonant guitars, while the vocals have take on a haunting howl; this fits the darkened tale of “Sacajawea” that the band is putting forth.  The saxophone blast in the background serves as a warning to the listener, and possibly to the narrated character.  The group will be releasing their album, Swollen, on August 12th via End of Time Records, so expect nothing but the best.

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Download: Stickers – Sacajawea [MP3]

 

Alvvays – s/t

LPjacket-final

Rating: ★★★★ ·

The kids these days seem intent on putting v’s in place of other letters that aren’t v’s. While I don’t really understand this phenomenon, I can get behind the jangly indie pop tunes that Toronto band Alvvays have collected and put together on this release. A nice blend of sunny summer sounding songs coupled with Molly Rankin’s sugary and youthful vocals are sure to get you on board with this bound to be buzz band.

This album starts with the two singles that the group has already presented to the public, but these are just the beginning. “Adult Diversion” gets things rolling with dueling guitar parts that interact with each other, bouncing off the different riffs. The drums are choppy and concise, though fuzzy in their recorded quality, almost as if recorded in a different room. At first it gives out this surf rock vibe, and then Rankin’s voice joins the mix and gives it that vaguely 1950’s girl band sound. Her voice mimics the guitar patterns for the choral hook, and is joined by other members of the band for the build to the chorus; it’s a playful vocal part, but not quite as playful as observed on the next track. “Archie, Marry Me,” is one of the catchiest songs you’ll find on the album, immediately pulling you into the Alvvays light if the first track didn’t. Rankin pushes her voice all over the place through the song, giving the sound that will have it stuck on repeat in your head all day.

Later on you get deeper into the album, with tunes like “Party Police,” and “Atop a Cake,” that keep it groovy, but also have viable narratives to follow and interest you in addition to the instrumentation. Personally, I can’t help but notice the similarities in between this band and groups like La Sera and Best Coast though with a twist of garage rock that gives it a heavier sound than either of these groups presents. “Party Police” has this melancholic vibe to it, the pleading in the vocals give it a sound of sincerity and also a deep sadness that permeates the whole song and steps the album down to a personal level.

At only nine songs in length, this self-titled album is short and sweet, albeit not too much of either of these traits. Often, it seems hard for bands like this one to strike a balance between their genre of golden indie pop and detailed songwriting, but Alvvays have blended these two qualities quite well. These nine tracks make for great company while you’re trying to shake it in the summer heat, but the softer and more delicate numbers and the refined lyrics have all the makings of longevity.

 

Austin Spotlight: Jonly Bonly Back with New Tunes

jbSeems like a rad day for Austin bands, as we get to hear the first official single from Jonly Bonly today after earlier rocking out to Spray Paint.  We’ve talked about JB before as the project of Jason Smith (OBN iiis), with friends Stephen and Marley filling out the sound. They’re releasing their debut album, Put Together, on September 9th via 12XU, and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of my favorite records of the year.  If you’ve met Jason, you’re likely to note that he’s got some of the most eclectic tastes around town, and while there’s a bit of a Wire feel in the opening lines, the warmth of his guitar playing definitely takes the song further away from that sound.  I’m excited to hear what the entire record sounds like…hopefully you are too.

Austin Spotlight: Spray Paint Return with New Album + Show

normanwanklordIt’s been rather a slow year for Austin’s Spray Paint, considering they released two great LPs in 2013.  But, we don’t have to wait anymore, as the band are readying their new album for release in September via Monofonus Press. The track begins with a bit of angular propulsion, almost in the vein of a repetitive stutter. But, the song opens up with a bit more discordant noise just after the minute mark, only to quickly return to the steady drive of the track.  The record is titled Clean Blood, Regular Acid, and it’s sure to make a lot of local year end lists, not to mention getting the Norman Wanklord seal of approval.  AND…if you’re in Austin tonight, you should check out their live show this evening at Hotel Vegas with Flesh Lights and more.

More New Music From The Rentals

The.Rentals-band-1995Having already heard a new track from the upcoming Rentals album, count this man in as excited for the band’s return in 2014.  Today the band is offering up another new single called “1000 Seasons” for us to grow even more excitement.  Once again, I can’t seem to get enough of this throwback rock sound that is making me feel nostalgic and like a young teen again.  Loving the sound here.

Get your hands on the new album Lost in Alphaville due out August 26th on Polyvinyl Records.

Stream New Single from Nicholas Nicholas

nicknickListening to this track from Nicholas Nicholas, it becomes clear that he’s operating in his own world, outside of the mainstream indie compositions.  First, you can look to the dark tonal quality of the vocals, which occasionally get some lightening in various parts of the track.  Second, I love the structure of the track, seemingly stringing two separate song ideas into one.  Despite the shadowy veil on the song, there’s this inner beauty that billows in.  You can pick up his new album, Wrong, from Miscreant Records on August 19th.  Here’s “Cave.”

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