Matthew Melton of Bare Wires and Warm Soda fame, and currently of Austin, Tx, has made great power pop records, no matter what band he’s using. But, he’s got a pile of recordings that couldn’t quite fit into those acts, so he’s releasing another solo record with Southpaw Records. Our first listen to this work shows Melton displaying much of the same style he’s come to be known for, wrapping up his vocals in a guitar sound that walks the line between bedroom and garage rock. This new effort is titled Outside of Paradise, and you can only grab it from the label or from Matthew himself.
When a musician steps away from a well-followed act, it’s difficult to say where things will end up. But, in the case of ex-Bare Wires member, Matthew Melton, his move to form Warm Soda seems to be paying off immensely. The band’s first album, Someone for You was spot-on power-pop, and Young Reckless Hearts picks up where that album left off, smoothing out the edges towards perfection.
“Going in Circles” starts the album off, indicating that while the riffs still maintain their crunchy edge, they might be polished up just a bit. The track offers a smoother delivery than previous Warm Soda tunes, though it still has that powerful driving rhythm prompted by the pounding drums. Then you’ll move right into “Postcards,” which employs more of an angular guitar cut. Personally, I love the way that Melton moves in and out of different vocal ranges within this number. You can then push forward to the record’s title track, “Young Reckless Hearts,” featuring a guitar part that our parents would have happily air-strummed at their favorite arena-rock show. However, there’s still an intimacy with what Melton and his cohorts are crafting; there’s an inherent warmth to the way vocals are delivered and how the pieces all fit together.
Honestly, the greatest thing about listening to Young Reckless Hearts is that you’re not going to find a single track that you’ll want to skip over, even though we’re all guaranteed to find our own favorites. My last few rounds I’ve really been enjoying “When Your Eyes Meet Mine.” It has a call-and-response backing vocal that really adds some pop-sensibility (as if much more was needed) to the song; it also has Melton working with my favorite vocal inflection. “Things That We Said” is also another winner, in my book. If you jumped into the track just prior to the 1 minute mark, you’ll hear exactly why I love this tune; there’s this swirling pop sensation that’s crafted by multi-part vocal harmonizing backed by a twangy guitar sound. Just don’t think that the group can’t still deliver a killer punch amidst all this shimmering pop.
The closing tune, “Stranger to Me,” is one of the songs on the record that’s most reminiscent of the band’s earlier works. The sound of the guitars is much more forceful, providing a nice discordant ring through your speakers. You’ll also find it filled with lots of guitar solos allowing for the band to demonstrate some of their fine musicianship; it even includes a nice little jam session before pushing forward to wrap up the track with a final explosion of glittery garage goodness.
You’re going to find it hard to dismiss Warm Soda nowadays. There lives shows have garnered huge responses, and it seems like the hits from this group just keep on coming. Young Reckless Hearts is a record you’ll enjoy at full volume, making it perfect for your entrance into Spring…or you’ll just be glad these guys released another batch of kick ass songs. Either way, I’m happy.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/07-When-Your-Eyes-Meet-Mine.mp3]
Out of the ashes of Bare Wires comes Warm Soda, but this time around things are going to be glistening with pure pop. It’s not like this wasn’t lurking around the corner, but with Someone For You the band has created something that will inevitable find itself stuck in your head, and heart.
Let’s get the bad thing about this record out of the way, if you can even really find a fault here. Okay, it does sound a little bit the same through and through, but I’m not biting that that’s entirely awful. After all, when you find so many songs filled with hooks and anthemic choruses you’re going to be happy they didn’t try to diversify their sound too much, choosing to rock it the way they do best.
“Violent Blue” kicks off the album with one of the heavier tracks present on Someone For You, using a quick pace and steady drumming to propel the track. But, the chorus of “violent blue” hints at the more pop-centric leanings of the group, preparing you for a fun filled ride of hits. Basically, that starts as soon as you hit tune #2, “Someone For You.” While the cymbal work and drumming hint at a more garage filled sound, the soft quality of the vocals working against the chiming guitars definitely makes you feel good. I especially like the way vocals blow you away with the drawn out “you” at the 1:47 minute mark. It’s just a teaser though, making way for the crunchy goodness of “Jeanie Loves Pop.” If you need a standout track to pass along to your friends in mixtape format, then you have to include this song. There’s a rawness to the guitar playing, yet the chorus is as anthemic as you can get, begging you to shout it out at the top of your lungs.
I think one of the best attributes of Warm Soda is the ability for the drums/guitars to work against the brighter quality of the vocals. For the most part, the drums are pretty steady and pushed up in the mix, like in “Waiting For Your Call.” Here, the guitars and the cymbal work build this incredible tension that you expect the band to unleash, but the twist of the knife comes via the melodic chorus relief. Is the track heavy? Is it a pop tune? Neither, it’s just a rad tune. The same can be said for “Busy Lizzy” with its knife’s-edge guitar work and quick blasting drum work, all centered around a cool vocal that’s slightly coated. Just wait for the boys to bang out the ending with pure pop class.
Honestly, I know a lot of people that think the Exploding Hearts sound could never be done again. It came at the perfect time in indie rock, but now is the time for Warm Soda. They combine elements of garage rock and power-pop to perfection; there’s not a band out there doing things as well as these lads. Someone For You is filled with hit after hit, and you can’t ignore a single song for fear of missing greatness. The best thing you can do? Buy this LP right now![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/06-Waiting-For-Your-Call.mp3]
Download: Warm Soda – Waiting For Your Call [MP3]
I loved what Bare Wires were doing musically, so when I heard that Matthew Melton had a new outfit, I had to get on it. Boy was I pleased when I heard this rad single from Warm Soda. It’s got power-pop guitar chords, but there’s also a nice bit of sheen to the track, making it catchy enough to play on and on and on. The group has just released their debut LP, Someone For You, on limited edition splattered vinyl. It went pretty quick, so they’ll be releasing it again on Castle Face Records at the end of March.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/reaction-1.mp3]
Download:Warm Soda – Reaction [MP3]
Are you tired of me raving about the Bare Wires just yet? Since SXSW I’ve been digging their solid rock n’ roll records, and with the release of their record Cheap Perfume just a few weeks from release, I’ll gladly drop a little more knowledge on you. This track is not as powerful as the earlier tracks the band has released, but I dig the subdued attitude here, demonstrating the band’s ability to just throw good old rock n’ roll right in your face. There’s no tricks, there’s no hype, just good old fashioned rock. Sometimes that’s the best kind; actually, it’s always the best kind.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/barewires_backontheroad.mp3]
Download: Bare Wires – Back on the Road [MP3]
We ATH kids professed our love for the pop styles of Bare Wires shortly after catching some of their tunes during SXSW back in March. It’s easy to like a band when they make catchy as hell songs like “Cheap Perfume” found below. This tune is set to appear on new album from the band Cheap Perfume due out October 18th on Southpaw Records. Dig that shiz.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/barewires_cheapperfume.mp3]
Download: Bare Wires – Cheap Perfume [MP3]
Just a few weeks back we got to witness the powerful pop of Bare Wires, and they just barely missed out on making our Top Ten Artists of the event. I can remember listening to their newest single, kicking out below, and thinking what a gem of a song it was. I imagined myself in some dirty old club shouting the chorus along with the band, amped up by their performance and those gritty guitar chords. Well, if hearing it live wasn’t enough, the recorded version is precisely what I remembered, making me fall head over heels into a pile of Lone Star tallboys, waiting for this group to come back to town. You can do yourself a favor and grab the band’s Ready To Go single, featuring the lead track we’ve got for you today.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Bare_Wires_-_Ready_To_Go.mp3]
Download: Bare Wires – Ready to Go [MP3]
Local boys Harlem have been rising to fame after their recent signing to Matador Records and we always try to make it to their shows around town. You can catch one of these shows Tuesday night at The Parlor and you won’t pay a dime! Oakland band The Bare Wires and fellow locals Koreans will also be performing at the free event.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/harlembeautifulandverysmart.mp3]
Download: Harlem – Beautiful and Very Smart [MP3]