Just in case you haven’t heeded my previous warning, you’re going to want to get to know Xetas this year, if they’re not already on your rock n’ roll radar. They’ve got a new video from their forthcoming The Cypher, and I’m freaking in love with this jam. It opens interestingly, with these jagged chords kind of building this nervous tension; it’s juxtaposed by the calm delivery of Kana’s voice, which quickly turns into an explosive howl as the band meets for the chorus. I think my favorite moment comes around the 2:03 mark with the line “have you ever watched the mountain range, change.” The full album is out next Friday via 12XU.
We here at ATH have been waiting to hear what was in store when Xetas much anticipated new LP was announced. Today the whole world gets to hear the power the band brandish with the new of the Cypher. Immediately, there’s this dangerous energy with the rhythm section crafting a steady stomp while the riffs knife their way in and out of the tune. The vocal delivery is almost a call to action in the way its delivered…save for the chorus which brings in just the slightest hint of pop sensibility to the band’s sound. It all fades into a wall of crashing noise, drawing the song to a close. It’s energetic, touching on hardcore and punk, while building in some insatiable hooks; this could be the record that blows the rest of you out of the water. The Cypher drops on January 24th via 12XU.
I know they were never a Black Fret band, and not sure about any Austin Music Awards, but Spray Paint (even when no longer living in Austin) have been one of the best rock groups with their tentacles in our unfair city. They’ve been quiet, and had taken a hiatus of sorts as members relocated. Nonetheless, they’re returning, and do so with this emphatic single that doesn’t seem to abide by any rules set forth. There’s this sense of foreboding on this tune, like something dark is on the horizon; the drums have this nervous energy, the vocals are delivered in this cavernous manner…a warning to listeners. In the last two minutes the band jump into experimental noise arena, with what seems like a faint heartbeat barely audible in the far off distance. Again, one of the greatest acts to come out of Austin in the last 10 years (or more), and now they’ll release Into the Country on October 25th via 12XU.
There’s just something about Dark Blue that always resonates when I press play on ye olde computer. There’s this penchant for post-punk, but it’s absent of the typical posturing of nostalgic rip-offs. And of course, central to the band’s sound is the voice of John Sharkey III, deep in tone, solemn in delivery. Here, there’s wave after wave of guitar crashing into and around Sharkey, but he shrugs it off with indifference, focusing instead on the way he shares each syllable. More people should be into this band; look for their new LP, Victory is Rated, to drop on 12XU.
Some songs come across the old Interwebs and you’re just drawn to them. The latest from Borzoi is one such tune (not that I haven’t enjoyed the others); I love how the song just seems so jittery and out of control…and yet it’s not. It’s controlled chaos, thrown out into the world with indifference; I just get the feeling of running around in a circle whilst the band seemingly increase the pace, driving me into a spastic frenzy…such feelings that only occur with the best of rock n’ roll. I love the call and response after the 2 minute mark, bringing the tune to an emphatic close. A Prayer for War is out tomorrow via 12XU, and it’s going to be brilliant.
We’ve been following Stephen Svacina on these pages for some time, be it with Jonly Bonly or Sweet Talk…and now we turn our attention to his latest project Missing Pages. The band are working on their debut LP at the moment, but while we wait, they’re going to tease us with a new 7″ for 12XU. The A-side has this driving guitar line, with Stephen and Garrick working against each other with these sharp chords circling one another like wrestlers about to lock up in the center of the ring. They continue to build up by pulling in additional vocals from bassists Ali, all culminating in my favorite part…the chorus of “it’s a long way down” is the perfect pop moment. Look for the new 7″ on October 5th; head HERE to grab a copy.
Borzoi are set to announce themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the music community. They’re brandishing a blend of noise and hardcore, but sculpting it with a slight art-school bend; it might even be fair to compare them to the early work of Shellac. Still, even that isn’t doing their recent work justice. Here they offer that sound, infusing their style with a primal urgency, creating a sense of imminent danger out of thin air. Creativity and noise can work together, as we’ll surely witness when the group drop A Prayer for War on September 21st via 12XU.
Austin’s Borzoi released the excellent Surrender the Farm EP, and now it looks like the band have a brand new LP on the horizon for 12XU. Our first taste offers some great insight into what we can expect, and from the sounds of the song’s opening minute and a half, they’re looking to take an exploratory route to post-hardcore. Sinister guitar notes hang in the air, battling subtle bass lines while the percussion works underneath. Once the vocals come into play, the track takes on an ominous tone, almost picking up pace before unleashing a wall of noise onto listeners. Then it recedes, only to return with a stabbing pulse of angular noise while it sounds like the band are tearing through your speakers. Clearly the band just doesn’t care what you expect, and that bodes well for A Prayer for War; it drops on 12XU on September 21st.
The Golden Boys will be releasing Better Than Good Times this Friday via 12XU, and just to be sure you’re tuned in, they’ve dropped one last single before the record hits the stores. Perhaps the best compliment you can pay the band on this run is that they don’t fit neatly into some niche genre. Instead, they employ solid rock n’ roll foundations, filling in the space with a rolling electronic organ and a traditional verse/chorus/jam/chorus structure; it’s the execution and the natural hook that brings your ear closer to the speakers as slight toe tapping occurs beneath your desk. The band will be hitting up End of an Ear Friday, with a larger release party the following night at Barracuda.
If you’re looking to find the quintessential Austin song, then perhaps you needn’t look beyond this great new jam from The Golden Boys. “I’m on drugs…” opens up the track, but the song isn’t about taking drugs, rather it seems to be holding on to the world, hoping for better things. Then you can move beyond the lyrics to the natural stomp of the tune, bounding through with smashing drum hits and an organ grinding in the background. It’s a gem of pure rock n’ roll fervor, infectious and hard-hitting at once. Look for Better Than Good Times to drop on November 17th via 12XU.