Some More Free Week Pics…

I still love Free Week. Went out and about again and saw a whole different set of random people. I learned a friend’s girlfriend’s dad goes by the name Bush Pounder. I learned a kind soul was leaving us for Puerto Rico, but would be returning for fests and touring gigs. Little known fact, flights to cities in the US from Austin are about the same as flights from Puerto Rico.

It was a whole different set of bands and a different chunk of venues. Here is the rundown: Empire to see out friends in Bali Yaaah and Hours Quiet, Barracuda for Midriff, ATH Records’ Pollen RX, Stiletto Feels, Otis The Destroyer and Flesh Lights with a quick jaunt to Swan Dive to see what Casey Beans was all about as a solo thing.

Click through for all the pics.

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GRMLN – Empire

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

Some records are perfectly fitting for the time of their release, leaving you with an album for that particular season.  For me, the first full-length from GRMLN is definitely going to be one of my most played this summer.  Empire has the energy, the hooks and enough variance to keep it in constant rotation.

It’s fitting that Empire opens with “Teenage Rhythm” as this track most likely resembles the youthful exuberance of most teens, at least in the overall mood. Guitars start chugging while the drums immediately come in pummeling your ears, all building up to the adolescent shout of “get out get out” in the chorus.  It’s a track that makes it difficult to turn your ear the other way.  It leaves plenty of room for the following number to jump in with a bubbling undercurrent of bass lines.  “Blue Lagoon” has more of a ringing guitar sound, and it’s here where I first noticed how easy it is to sing along to the lyrics.  Who doesn’t love to bob your head and sing?

GRMLN, which is the primary work of Yoodoo Park, makes it difficult to skip a single track, even when writing a review.  “Hand Pistol” seems to blend the cocky swagger of Waaves with the hooks of Surfer Blood, though sounding entirely like it has its own personality.  You’ll hear a clean guitar cutting through the background, while a heavier guitar plays up front.  Then the attitude is switched up for a more indie pop appeal with “Coastal Love,” which has a slight effect on the vocals.  It’s a cleaner bent, which offers a bit of a breather from where Empire was dwelling for the last few tracks.

Now, I don’t want to sit here and tell you these are the greatest songs that man has ever written, but damn it if you’re not just going to have fun listening to this release.  “Do You Know How It Feels” has a great vocal throughout, and the energetic delivery of the guitars had me hooked instantly.  Then you skip ahead a few tracks to bob along to “1993,” which might just be the my favorite track on the album. It’s youthful, yet the musicianship is perfectly executed at every turn, displaying the blossoming skills of Park right before our eyes.

You can listen to this record, and almost immediately fall in love with it.  The songs throughout are fairly simple, yet they’re structured around hooks and melodies that grab hold of your eardrums, never letting go.  GRMLN has constructed the perfect seasonal listen, which due to current temperatures, is absolutely perfect.  Empire is fun, it’s catchy, and it’s something that might endure beyond the summer, keeping us warm all year long.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/05-Do-You-Know-How-It-Feels_.mp3]

Download: GRMLN – Do You Know How It Feels_ [MP3]

 

Another New GRMLN Track

grmlnIt seems like every couple of weeks we get a new tune from GRMLN, and I’m totally cool with that, especially when they’re as hook-laden as the following song we’ve got for your listening pleasure. We’re nearing the June 4th release date of Empire, the debut LP from the group, and I’m getting excited.  Some part of me feels like there’s a Foutnains of Wayne ode in here, just propping up a solid rock tune with a powerful chorus.  It’s actually sort of a rarity nowadays, so I’ll gladly take a revisiting of one of my favorite genres.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/GRMLN-Hand-Pistol.mp3]

Download: GRMLN – Hand Pistol [MP3]

Jamming Out with GRMLN

1840We’ve written about GRMLN before, but I’m even more excited about the band after hearing this latest track.  It’s a lot more upbeat and in your face, with an edgy guitar kicking off right from the start.  The vocals have this bit of power-pop delivery while the drums pound in the background; there’s even a riotous breakdown at the end of the tune. If you’re in need of a record you can just blast as the wind blows your hair back, then you’re going to want to get your hands on Empire when it is released by Carpark Records on June 4th.