One More BOYO Hit

BOYOWe’re just a week away from the release of BOYO‘s first album, Control, so we’ve got to maximize exposure for the young songwriter. This tune has a solemn feel to it, created by the way the vocals were recorded distantly in the mix. In doing so, the emphatic touches of the song itself burst forth rather infrequently, almost like a mini burst of pop dosage; it reminds me a lot of Built to Spill on Nothing Wrong with Love. I find it catchy, yet dreamy at the same time, which is why I’ll be getting my hands on the record when it’s released next Friday via Danger Collective.

Brand New Music from Honey Bucket

honeybucketI’ve really been devouring all I’ve heard from Honey Bucket. They sound like an amalgam of everything I love, be it slacker rock a la Pavement or hooky Aussie guitar rock. It’s got a great bounce to it, comes across as honest and gets the boost of repeated listens in my stereo. This song almost seems unintentional, as if the hooks just came naturally via jamming out in their practice space; I love that about it, especially when it launches forward in the latter half of the track with more energy.They’re pumping up the press lately, getting ready for the world to hear Magical World; it’ll be out on August 19th via See My Friends Records.

Love This New June Gloom Tune

junegloomNot sure I can stop playing this new track from June Gloom today. Those who grew up in the late 90s/early 00s will surely find some nostalgic feeling in his songwriting…pulling on touches of acts like Pinback or Built to Spill, though things are spun in a magical way that makes the tune ever present in today’s landscape. There’s something overwhelmingly warming about the track, so I hope you play it as much as I have this morning. Look for his debut, Fake Problems, which comes out via Funeral Sound Records on July 15th.

Stream Antlered Aunt Lord’s Album Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and on fire)

AntleredAuntLord3photobyBrigetteAdairHerronI’ve spent the last month listening to Antlered Aunt Lord and his new record Ostensibly Formerly Stunted (and on fire). While I already love many of the songs, it was the album that really burrowed into my soul. On one hand it has the oddity and the brevity of early Elf Power, but on the other hand I want to compare it to Nothing Wrong with Love (my favorite Built to Spill) record. It’s a listen that can’t be defined, that can’t be pigeonholed, only enjoyed. I have a feeling that as much as I’ve played it already, it’s going to continue to be in constant rotation throughout the duration of my life. Yeah, I said it. You can grab the record this week from HHBTM Records

Mellow Groove from Paperhaus

paprsWhen I think of DC, I always go straight to the punk roots of the city…still in love.  But, when listening to Paperhaus, I hear a band far from that…aside from the DIY aesthetic that has allowed the band to grow, crumble and rebuild. There’s this catchy groove, using a nice guitar pluck for some emphasis that works to offset the band’s slow-moving pace.  It reminds me of Austin’s Abram Shook running on-stage to join Built to Spill; I guess that’s a weird analogy, but I’m sticking to it. They’ll finally be releasing their debut LP, which is self-titled, on February 10th. Enjoy this ditty.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/paperhaus_soslow.mp3]

Download: Paperhaus – So Slow [MP3]

Built to Spill @ Stubbs (11/23)

Built-to-Spill-leanback

Date 11/23/13
Location Stubbs
Doors 7pm
Tickets $20 @ Frontgate

I was having a conversation the other day with a friend about how Built to Spill are one of the few bands that has managed to survive the crowded 90s indie scene and continually churn out solid releases.  Sure maybe the newer releases have never quite grabbed the moments from the earlier days, but the band has a multitude of solid tunes and can always bring it in the live setting.  With that said, why not head on out to Stubbs on Saturday night for a show by the veteran indie rockers.  Of course let’s not forget the opening support provided by both Slam Dunk and Genders.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Built-to-Spill-Hindsight.mp3]

Download: Built to Spill – Hindsight [MP3]

Jamming Lil’ Number from Finn Riggins

It’s really funny that this track popped up in our inbox the other day, just a night after I was talking to our friend Marcus about the lack of credit given to the Idaho scene.  In 2011 the scene hit big with Youth Lagoon, and the state is the home to Built to Spill, who took out the band Finn Riggins for several tours.  This track from Finn Riggins definitely has a nice little groove to it, and it’ll feature on the band’s Benchwarmers EP, which is set for release on April 21st for Record Store Day.  This is the perfect way to kick off our Monday; the band will be in Austin playing the Boise Showcase at SXSW if you’re looking for a place to catch them.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/FinnRigginsBenchwarmers.mp3]

Download:Finn Riggins – Benchwarmers [MP3]

Grooms – Prom

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Two years ago, Rejoicer, came out, putting Grooms on the map, at least for a little bit.  In those two years, the group has really put in their time figuring out their style, and it’s going to pay huge dividends in 2011.  Prom is a record full of tracks tied together cohesively, yet each track is completely able to stand alone as an undeniable hit.

“Tiger Trees” opens with sampled drum beats and a repetitive guitar, sort of like an ambient opener for a Mogwai song, but moments later, cymbals crash, noise washes in, and you’re stuck in the melody bubbling beneath the track.  Here you’ll be intrigued by Grooms‘ ability to slither in and out of discordant atmospherics and melodious washes of noise.  Beauty in noise seems to be a huge theme from the get go as you enter into “Prom.”  It’s a youthful discussion lyrically, moving from the song’s title to discussion of the Smiths in one’s bedroom, but you’ll find yourself wrapped up in the line “I wanna be friends with you.”

Perhaps it’s just me, but while people can probably throw around a Sonic Youth reference here and there, due entirely to the loud quiet loud noise element, I occasionally hear later 90s indie rock heroes such as Built to Spill.  “Expression Of” has that same meandering quality that the best BoS tracks had, and vocally, you can definitely hear a little Doug Martsch channeling.  Part of the allure of Prom is that the band seemingly drop references to various bands throughout, such as the nod to Deerhunter in “Skating With a Girl,” but Grooms owns the sound; they make it entirely their own, wrapping it up in a unique blend of quieting melodies juxtaposed with distortion and feedback.

If you wanted to nit-pick here, perhaps you could call for a bit of a more polished production value, as some tracks tend to rattle perhaps too much for their own good. That being said, that’s one of the interesting qualities here, as the band clearly is marking their own territory within the realms of their forefathers. “Into the Arms,” comes late into the album, and this is perhaps the most Thurston Moore-ish song, even down to the lyrics, but the vocal delivery takes on a character of it’s own, allowing you to focus on the song’s construction, made more remarkable by the fact that the bass line seems to live just beneath the surface of the song, letting the cutting guitar chords roam free.

Sure, there’s definitely some landmark references throughout Prom, but everything has roots in something nowadays.  Grooms succeeds in their endeavors because you clearly see their dedication to crafting their own space within the confines of noisy indie rock.  It’s a place you’ll need to delve into, traveling with the band from start to finish on this most excellent journey, leaving you feeling fulfilled and rewarded for giving this record the deserved time.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/grooms_tigertrees.mp3]

Download: Grooms – Tiger Trees [MP3]

Built To Spill @ Emo’s (10/22 & 10/23)

Date 10/22/10 & 10/23/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets Friday – $18 & Saturday – $18

Those two nights we’ve all been eagerly awaiting in Austin have finally arrived this Friday and Saturday night at Emo’s.  On both nights, you can catch a set by highly acclaimed veterans of the scene Built to Spill.  Friday night your support is provided by Revolt Revolt and The Beautiful Supermachines.  Saturday night you’ll get Revolt Revolt and Paper Mache.  Tickets are still available so follow those links above and get this party started right.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Built-to-Spill-Hindsight.mp3]

Download: Built to Spill – Hindsight [MP3]

Band of Horses – Infinite Arms

Rating: ★★½ · ·

The week of May 16th features several artists, long considered favorites by many indie rock fans, returning to the fold with new albums.  Not only is Band of Horses coming back with their new album, Infinite Arms, but they are also coming in with a new record label, having completed their agreement for Sub Pop.  Would the change signify a distinctive shift in sound, or would we get more of the same?

On the opening track, “Factory,” you get the since that things haven’t changed too drastically since the last album, Cease to Begin.  It’s got that slow paced Americana, expanded by the addition of string arrangements, and accompanied by Ben Birdwell’s exquisite vocals.  He’s got something in the way his voice seems to fall off with just the tiniest vocal inflection, and it always gets me.  Similarly, one of the other singles, “Laredo,” approaches the most-rocking moments of the album, with a steady percussion beat creating the backbone of the tune.  Oddly, the melody and the structure seem super-connected to “No One’s Gonna Love You” off their last record, but then again, even with Birdwell’s strong vocals, the band does have a tendency to blend into itself.  Still, this is a bit of re-hash in these eyes.

From here Infinite Arms takes a jump into a more folk-driven sound.  Pace is slowed down a bit for numbers like “Blue Beard” and “Infinite Arms.” Each song has some gentle strumming, and the latter sound has some recording effects that give you the feeling that it was all recorded in some backwoods area.  Don’t get me wrong, these songs have some strengths, particularly the recording of “Infinite Arms,” but there just isn’t some grand statement that is being made.  In the past, there was always a Band of Horses track that made you wonder why this band wasn’t absolutely huge.  Everything comes off really mild-mannered, and for some that will be a bit disheartening.

Give or take two tracks (“Dilly” and “Northwest Apartment”) the record really kind of stays in the vein of slow-core Americana.  Honestly, this is probably the disappointing element.  Yes, they always dabbled in folk elements, but nothing quite like the woodsy “Trudy.” It lacks lyrical depth as well, but that’s sort of par for the course with this collection of songs.   Where is the balance of swirling melodies that raise into the heavens, only to crash down in some sense of quiet?  It’s not there at all, and in fact, the most rocking you get on the latter half of the album is “Northwest Apartement,” aptly named for its blatant Built to Spill sonic allusions.

Don’t get me wrong, as Infinite Arms is a pleasant enough record.  There are a few moving tracks that will still do enough to satisfy old fans, but then the rest of the record really feels like the group is just sort of treading water. Band of Horses seems to have run out of ideas, or in changing directions, the group doesn’t seem quite as confident as they once did.  All this make for an uneven record that suffers from a general enthusiasm, but that could just be my own lackluster thoughts after going through this album hoping to find one more great gem.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/01-Factory-1.mp3]

Download: Band of Horses – Factory [MP3]

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