ATX Show Spotlight: Generationals vs Jonly Bonly

Jonly BonlyHump day requires celebration. It means the weekend’s almost here. So check out these two shows going on that beg your attendance.

You can hit up the Generationals show at the Parish.  They’re a Louisiana based pop group, built on maximizing hooks and memorable lyrical content.  But, to be honest…nothing has hit me as hard with this band as Con Law…but that’s just one man’s opinion.  The gig starts at 8 PM sharp!

Or, for you late night rockers…you need to be at Hotel Vegas to catch Jonly Bonly.  The local band is fueled by the excellent guitar play of Jason Smith (ex-OBN IIIs); they’re debut Put Together was one of my favorite records last year, so you can take that to the bank.  Plus, they’ll be joined by locals Slow , Mike Melindi and Caroline Says…two other acts on the rise in town, so you’ve got to be sure to show up early.  This one kicks off at 10 PM.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/The-Generationals-When-They-Fight-They-Fight.mp3] [audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/02-A2-Never-Thought-Id-Die.mp3]

 

Show Preview: Generationals @ Mohawk (11.20)

Date Tuesday, November 20th
Location Mohawk
Doors 9:00 PM
Tickets $8 from Mohawk

Okay, so I know a lot of you are trying to get out of town, but you’ve got a great reason to stay behind, just for a few hours.  Two of our favorite acts are coming to play the inside of Mohawk on Tuesday night: Generationals and Races.  Races played a show we sponsored this past summer, and they were incredible, pulling off a set that made us beg for them to come back.  As for Generationals, I can’t say enough about the group.  Their two records Con Law and Actor-Caster are great, and they just release the new Lucky Numbers EP, which is going to guarantee a great gig.  If you can stick around, then plan to show up!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/The-Generationals-When-They-Fight-They-Fight.mp3]

Download:The Generationals – When They Fight, They Fight [MP3]

Generationals – Actor Caster

Rating: ★★★½ ·

On their 2009 album, Con Law, the duo known as Generationals sort of left their mark by being all over the place, touching on various genres of modern indie pop.  For their second album, Actor Caster, the band sounds a lot more confident, clearly having spent loads of time developing their sound into a cohesive gem of an album, ready for mass consumption by anyone and everyone.

Kicking off the party with “Ten Twenty Ten” seems like as good an option as any for the band, as it definitely has this rootsy pop-rock guitar bubbling through it, ready to boil over with melodic pop momentum.  Here the band sounds really steady, and instead of hitting you over the head with hooks like on their last release, those moments slowly build beneath the songs on Actor Caster, making it more infectious the more you listen.  Similarly, “I Promise” uses this jangling sunny guitar line to reach up and grab you and carry you swinging arm in arm out the door. A slight piano track in the background adds to the jangling, giving more texture to the band’s sound, again making lasting impressions.

Of course, the band will definitely find themselves compared to other groups with some of the tracks present here, namely comparisons to The Drums.  But, unlike the latter, Generationals have something stronger in their summery swagger, such as “You Say It Too.”  It’s got that clever little surf-rock guitar hook here, and vocals upon vocals, some oohs to boot, but it’s got more substance than other like-minded groups.  In “Goose & Gander” you’ll find yourself sitting at your desk, or wherever  you are, tapping your feet.  You can try all you want to avoid it, but once a hook inserts itself in your subconscious, there’s nothing that will get you away from happily swaying moments from left to right.

You’ll still be able to find bits of pop experimentation on this record, so don’t go thinking it’s all same-old same-old.  “Tell Me Now” is probably one of the more distinctive songs on this entire collection, and it’s the vocals that seem to take hold of you here, as opposed to the overall hooks of guitars and melodies.  That’s probably one of the greatest things about listening to Generationals, they just have an arsenal of hooks and pop wonderment that will instantly win you over; there’s no fighting it folks, so you may as well just let yourself get absorbed in it all.  Whether you want a jangling guitar, or a piano-laden track or even a sing-a-long chorus, you’re going to find it here.

In the end, their ability to harness that exuberant energy into a more confined sound is going to be greatly beneficial. Actor Caster is just chock full of hit after hit, begging you to open up the windows and share these joyous listening moments with anyone, and everyone, who is willing to open their ears. At the end of the day, Generationals have constructed yet another record full of tracks that you can, and should, take anywhere, as they’ll be around for some time, destined to bring you every bit of sun your heart desires.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/09_Greenleaf.mp3]

Download: Generationals – Greenleaf [MP3]

New Music from Generationals

I was all about Generationals when their catchy album Con Law hit the streets, and now it seems like there is even more reason to be excited. They’ve got a new EP coming out soon on Park the Van, and it was recorded by our very own Austinite Bill Baird!  This new track, “Trust,” shows the band bringing a grittier bit to their pop du jour.  Pounding drums, clever vocal delivery, and those angular guitar lines cutting through one another just make this the perfect end of fall to winter jam.  The Trust EP will be in stores on November 16th!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Generationals-Trust.mp3]

Download: Generationals – Trust [MP3]

2009 Top 50 Albums

bestof2009cover_albums

Creating a Top 50 Albums list is never easy.  You have to battle with what you think the world believes, and what you truly believe in your heart, to be solid jams.  We have even more trouble because we have to three writers, all who have different ideas, and we have to make those ideas fit into a neat box.  Well, we got it done, and honestly, our criteria was based on two things: how great we thought the album was, artistically speaking, and how long we listened to it without getting bored.  That’s it. It’s fool proof; you might not like it, but it’s our list, so here it is… Read more

Generationals – Con Law

genere

Rating: ★★★★ ·

New Orleans duo, Generationals, seem to have flown beneath the radar for quite some time, that is until Park the Van Records, home to Dr. Dog, decided to release their album Con Law.  The record crosses various rivers of genre, yet always staying familiar in the listener’s ear.  Here we have a complete album of pop celebration that will surely tide us over for the rest of the summer.

When “Nobody Could Change Your Mind” begins, the tinkering of electronic keyboard makes it seem like just any other neo-electroni-pop album, but then the horns kick in, stepping the album out of a purely cliche realm of music. Vocals here have a bit of an echo, which may give them a lo-fi title, but the band is nowhere near that mark.

“Angry Charlie” switches gears, and recalls the best moments of MGMT, although if you listen to this on repeat several times you will see that the usage of the organ and bounding percussion give it an entirely different light, moving the band beyond their peers.  Yet, this group immediately allows for the staleness of such styles to veer in different directions.  The half-hearted stomp of  “Faces in the Dark” demonstrate that the band is far more than a one trick pony; they have a barrage of approaches in the writing of Con Law, allowing for the album to take on a more long-standing importance for fans.

By the time you meet the mid-section of this record, you start to wonder exactly why you hadn’t heard anything about this band up until this point in time.  “”When they Fight, They Fight,” and “Our Time (2 Shine)” are both solid tracks that exemplify just how special a listening experience this will be.  Both songs hold tightly to some really great hooks, while still paying homage to classic beach sounds.  They might take a slight misstep from here with “Wildlife Sculpture,” as it’s one of the very few songs that doesn’t immediately make you want to press repeat on your player, whatever format.

Just as the album seems as if it will stay with electronic flourishes, “Exterior Street Date” sweeps in with ringing guitars.  The vocals will take the key role for the majority of the song here, but the subtlety of the chorus somehow manages to stick inside your head.  This duo is the key of under-spoken pop gems, accessible and discernible, only for those with careful ears.  Following this comes “It Keeps You Up” with its bouncing piano work and vocals that appear to be sung by a mass group of fans, though it’s just one voice.  Such care went into the patchwork of these songs that it’s no wonder you find yourself listening to them again and again.  And such is the story of the album, you find yourself rushing back and forth to play that track over and over, wondering to yourself if it really was that good.  The answer for the songs, and the album is yes!

Generationals play at Stubbs Indoors on August 6th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/02-angry-charlie.mp3]

Download: Generationals – Angry Charlie [MP3]