Pummeling Punk from Audacity

audcityThe first 30 seconds of this new song from Audacity has the band sounding like their most dangerous, furiously pushing the pace with pounding drums and rambunctious attitude via the guitar. Still, while this might be the heaviest I’ve heard from Audacity, the chorus offers some of their pop sensibility setting up for some great all out guitar jamming until the song’s conclusion. This is our first taste of Hyper Vessels, their newest album (recorded with some Ty Segall character); it’ll be released by Suicide Squeeze Records on April 1st…or will it?

Missed This One: New Tune from Audacity

audacityLast year I was really digging the sounds of Audacity; this was fueled on by a great performance I caught of the band during SXSW.  That being said, I’m surprised I missed a new tune and 7″ announcement from the group, which has been billowing about for a week or two.  The band is one of those that offers up two sides of things, hitting fast and heavy or bringing some pop stylings…this round they’re landing more on the side of fast and heavy, and even a little brash.  I’m game for it all when it comes to this band, so check it out. You can grab the Counting the Days 7″ on December 2nd from Suicide Squeeze.

Show Preview: Audacity @ Hotel Vegas (4.29)

tumblr_inline_mj08bavIaS1qz4rgpThe shows just keep coming and coming, and personally, this show at Hotel Vegas is a doozy.  I loved Butter Knife, the latest record from Audacity, and in fact included it in our list of Top 50 Albums of 2013.  It’s a high energy album, making their live show all the same, filled with great riffs and pop sensibility.  But, as if that wasn’t enough, you should also be there to check out the local openers, Loteria, being my particular favorite of the bunch.  They go on just before Audacity, but if you get there early, you’ll also be able to catch The Golden Ghetto and Slash & Spread.  It’s a great little line-up, so if you’re in need of something to do, think about heading to Hotel Vegas.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/01_Couldn_t_Hold_A_Candle.mp3]

Download: Audacity – Couldn’t Hold A Candle [MP3]

Top 50 Albums of 2013

albums banner 2013 procMaking our year-end list of Top Albums is never something we take lightly.  We realize that it’s rather arbitrary in the grand scheme of things, but we realize that our role is to at least toss out our opinion, however meaningless it may be. In the long run, we had to take the tastes of several people, and whittle it into a list of 50 great albums that we think are vital to your listening experience.  We know it’s a matter of personal tastes, but the records below are reflective of our tastes and our site, so don’t get mad, they’re just opinions. But, feel free to tell us where we went wrong, or what we might have missed.  If you click on the album titles, you can also read our full reviews of each album, save the ones that we didn’t get to in time. Sorry we don’t like Kanye.

50 – WampireCuriosity
49 – Dot DashHalf Remembered Dream
48 – Mantles  – Long Enough to Leave
47 – The Appleseed CastIllumination Ritual
46 – Bad SportsBras
45 – Part TimePDA
44 – Dick DiverCalendar Days
43 – Math and Physics ClubOur Hearts Beat Loud
42 – Veronica FallsWaiting for Something to Happen
41 – Eat Skull – III
40 – The Lonely WildThe Sun as It Comes
39 – The Love LanguageRuby Red
38 – Gun OutfitHard Coming Down
37 – Cate Le BonMug Museum
36 – Daughn GibsonMe Moan
35 – Andre ObinThe Arsonist
34 – ArpMore
33 – Gap DreamShine Your Light
32 – The Black WatchThe End of When
31 – Ty SegallSleeper
30 – The StevensA History of Hygeine
29 – Of MontrealLousy with Sylvianbriar
28 – Mirror TravelMexico
27 – Local NativesHummingbird
26 – Girls NamesThe New Life
25 – GRMLNEmpire
24 – Small BlackLimits of Desire
23 – AudacityButter Knife
22 – Mikal CroninMCII
21 – Chelsea WolfePain is Beauty
20 – FoalsHoly Fire
19 – Radical FaceFamily Tree: The Branches
18 – Youth LagoonWondrous Bughouse
17 – Terry MaltsNobody Realizes This is Nowhere
16 – Shout Out LoudsOptica
15 – Kurt VileWaking on a Pretty Daze
14 –  BraidsFlourish//Perish
13 – Crystal AntlersNothing is Real
12 – TyphoonWhite Lighter
11 – Ski LodgeBig Heart

10 – GamblesTrust

Admittedly, this album makes nods to folk troubadours of Christmas’ past, but what grabbed me from the moment I heard this record was the sincerity in what’s being created.  In leaving us with a stripped down listen of folk tunes and incredible poetry, we’re asked to look into the history of American songwriting tradition; it’s been awhile since it was executed so well.

9 – The GrowlersHung at Heart

I’d put this album on any list for one song alone, “Someday.”  But, it just so happens that the rest of the album maintains the sensation that’s established on the opening track.  I’ve heard it referenced as a surf-psych opus, but what’s been assured in my mine is what an incredible listen we’re all be treating to when we put Hung at Heart on our record players.

8 – Wax IdolsDiscipline & Desire

Hether Fortune seems to scare people.  Her work is in your face, never making an excuse for who she is or what she believes.  That attitude carries on into her music, allowing listeners to experience a musical world void of any pretense.  The songs on this album are angular, dark and abrasive; the vocals have Hether dominating the scene of modern lady rock warriors.  If you don’t dig it, she doesn’t care, but I do because this record rules.

7 – Parenthetical GirlsPrivilege

While many of the songs on this effort leaked out before under various EPs, the whole masterpiece exists in the way it was tied together as a complete work.  It’s operatic and grand at every corner, but it’s also undeniably a pop record.  The emphasis might revolve around the more artful spectrum of pop music, but this is an album you can play for everyone in your family, and they’ll all find themselves swept up in the wonderment of Privilege.

6 – The NationalTrouble Will Find Me

What else really needs to be said about The National.  They consistently make great albums that are lauded then often overlooked, but we didn’t want to do that to one of our favorite acts.  I mean, if they played 8 shows in 8 days, we’d be at every one, and the DJ set after party.  Their accolades and recognition are warranted, and it’s especially clear on this, their latest release.

5 – LegsPass the Ringo

When listening to Pass the Ringo, I thought of one thing: this is the sort of record that makes a small label, like Loglady Records, a household name. It’s spun around garage rock and psych rock structures, whilst still maintaining an accessibility that few people working in that genre achieve.  Some albums can play in the background of your house, and might be happy to do so, but Legs created something that made me stop and listen at every turn; I’m thankful for that.

4 – Warm SodaSomeone for You

Someone For You came our way in January.  On my record player, it hasn’t left since.  This is one of the most rewarding power-pop records I’ve gotten my hands on, and trust me, I’ve gotten my hands on a lot of great records. Each song is filled with innate hooks and garage rock grit, encouraging you to tap your toes for the entirety of the record.  You’d think after a full year our interest would have waned, but with time we’ve only grown to appreciate the record even more.

3 – Coma CinemaPosthumous Release

At the moment, there’s not too many people releasing music that’s the quality of Mathew Cothran and Coma Cinema. There are elements of the bizarre, similar to the work of early Elf Power, yet there’s this intimacy that artists like Eliott Smith were able to create with their listeners.  You wrap that up and put it in a package of pop sensibility, and you have an album that can’t be ignored.

2 – Bubblegum LemonadeSome Like it Pop

In today’s musical climate, we buy into the fact that artists have to be doing something strange, or something that’s vastly different from their peers.  But, in the grand scheme of things, we often forget what it’s like to take enjoyment out of the music.  This album was one of the many reminders that music, when it’s good, can be quite special.  Every song here is a single, and worth your time; it’s the best thing Laz has done, and I feel like he’s just really getting started.

1 – Magical CloudzImpersonator

This album is about Devon Welsh.  From the first instant I heard his voice, it took hold of me. Throughout the year, Impersonator, consistently played on my radio. His voice was mesmerizing, captivating audiences on several occasions in Austin, convincing us to be as quiet as a mouse, so as to hear every note.  The unique quality of the album will reward listeners for years to follow.  It made us believe in great music again.

 

Audacity – Butter Knife

Audacity-Butter-Knife

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Make no mistake about it, garage rock is best when blended with punk rock enthusiasm and pop sensibility.  If you take a listen to Butter Knife, it’ll only take you a few minutes to realize that Audacity has mastered the art form, leaving those of you thirsting for a solid rock record with the solution to what ails you.

Sure, “Couldn’t Hold a Candle” is the perfect way to open the record, and it might convince others that Audacity was going to bring more of a pop sensibility to this outing; it’s got these great hooks from both the anthemic lyrics and the guitar playing, but what sold me on my infatuation with Butter Knife was the following tune, “Pigs.” Furiously the drums pound, pushing the pace of the track into more of the classic punk rock realm, but, please do hold on here.  Just after the 1.5 minute mark, the song breaks down; it turns itself on its side, bringing more of a power-pop sound into the fold.  For me, it’s the best of both worlds!

The next big hit you’ll find is “Cold Rush.” It begins with a twanging guitar that rings, then moves into this bouncing swing of energy and brattiness.  Using backing vocals from the far off background is another nice touch that really makes this tune a straight-up winner.  Even as the longest track on the album it never ceases to lose its accessibility, making one of my favorite tunes. And if you skip ahead just a bit, you’ll find “Rooster,” which is another track that’s worth your time (although they all are really). One great thing about this track is not just the pacing, but the clarity of the vocals that allows you to really sink your teeth into the tune.

When listening to Butter Knife, you’ll see that every song has something to offer listeners.  Those of you looking for a classic pop sound can find yourself nodding along to tunes like “Onomatopoeia” or “Dancing Under the Soft Light;” they both offer great ballad stylings, though done in Audacity‘s fashion. Or there’s the harder edged tunes like “Tell Yourself” and “Watered Down,” so you get the best of both worlds: punk and pop. The band moves between the two so easily that it’s clear they’ve mastered the form, better than many of their peers.

As garage rock continues to make its push, it’s easy to get weighed down by all the countless names coming in and out of the genre.  But, every once in a while you stumble onto some group that’s doing it just right.  It’s not too punk, it’s not too pop.  Butter Knife walks a fine line between the two, and in doing so, Audacity have left us with a record that we’ll be bobbing along to for quite some time.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/01_Couldn_t_Hold_A_Candle.mp3]

Download: Audacity – Couldn’t Hold A Candle [MP3]

One More New One from Audacity

tumblr_inline_mj08bavIaS1qz4rgpWasn’t it just last week I posted one of the latest singles from Audacity?  Well, that was from a split release, but this new tune is from their brand new LP!  The album is titled Butter Knife, and it’ll see a release by Suicide Squeeze on October 29th.  These guys always seem to energetic in their songwriting, yet, like all good punk, it’s got a nice dosage of hooks to grab your ears.  If you listen to this track, you get the feeling that big things are in the making for the band, as you’ll find a hard time ignoring just how good the track is.  One of my favorite acts of the moment!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/01_Couldn_t_Hold_A_Candle.mp3]

Download: Audacity – Couldn’t Hold A Candle [MP3]

Rock of Love from Audacity

audacityEarlier in the month I posted a Coathangers song that was going to be featured on a split 7″ with Audacity, and now I’ve got the other side of the 7″ to swoon over.  The pummeling pace from the drums is enough to stir my punk rock emotions up, but I freaking love the guitar work here too.  It’s sharp and still holds onto the furious edge that’s provided by the percussion.  It blasts through, creating a riotous mood that sinks into your bones before it fades out of your speakers.  You want to get amped up? Then pick up this split 7″ from Suicide Squeeze Records. The band will also be popping in Austin on October 24th, and we plan to be there jump up and down with the group!

New Single from The Coathangers

artworks-000054693838-8vayzf-t500x500I’ve backed the power of the Coathangers for some time now, and things won’t change now that the group have announced an up-coming split with Audacity (another ATH fave).  On this split, the girls offer a gruffer vocal, which is actually a welcome touch; it makes the girls seem a touch more hardcore, not that they really needed it.  But, I also like the steady approach of the songwriting; it has a resemblance to the ferocity of early YYYs, yet they pull back in their own way.  The split 7″ will be available from Suicide Squeeze Records on October 15th.

Audacity Bring Us Rowdy Rock

AudacityBack in March we shared a new track called “Finders Keepers” with you guys from Fullerton based rock group Audacity.  Well today the band are offering up another new song entitled “Hole in the Sky” which can be streamed below.  I’m loving the rowdy punk rock vibe exuded by the song throughout its brief two minutes and forty seconds.  Hopefully you’ll feel some of that power as well.

New album Butter Knife will be available on October 29th via Suicide Squeeze Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Hole-In-The-Sky.mp3]

Download: Audacity – Hole In The Sky [MP3]

Pump Your Fists with Audacity

tumblr_inline_mj08bavIaS1qz4rgpWe have to kick off Monday with a bang, right? I couldn’t think of a better way than to toss out this bouncing rocker from Audacity.  It’s got everything you need to get your day started: hard-hitting drums, catchy lyrics and bad-assery.  They’ll be releasing their Finders Keepers 7″ on Suicide Squeeze Records on March 25th, before a full-length record comes out later in 2013.  I like the way things are kicking off 2013 for these guys, and you’re all going to fall in love with their sound, I promise.  Have fun boys and girls, this is Audacity.  Oh, and they’ll be doing that SXSW thing, so if you dig, find em’ here in Austin.

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