Pure X – Pleasure

Rating: ★★★★★

At this point in time, it would be difficult for one to ignore Pure X (formerly Pure Ecstasy) based entirely on the amount of press that has seemed to surround the Austin trio over the last few months.  After listening to Pleasure over and over (and over and over) again, you’ll soon realize that the group is no joke, and they’ve crafted the slow-burning record of the year, if not just the straight up record of the year.

The instrumental “Heavy Air” begins the record with sort of the ominous feeling one would associate with bloated oxygen, weighed down in trickling bits of guitar reverb and harrowing sounds that fill every inch of space necessary.  It’s the perfect precursor to “Dream Over,” a track that begins with a little bit more light, as “oohs” gently float you through the intro.  Once the vocals come in, the echo effect of created by the band refraining from polish stains the track with every inch of passion Pure X possess, especially clear as vocals strain in the background to wrap up the song.

You’re going to be hard pressed to discover such a one-two punch as “Twisted Mirror” and “Easy.”  The former slowly builds with discordant guitar sounds carefully cutting through the space, all before we’re presented with even a hint of vocals.  Honestly, while the depth of the vocals on this track, and on Pleasure for that matter, elevate each song, the craftsmanship of the sound itself doesn’t even require singing at all.  With “Easy,” the appeal for the masses is immediately noticeable as drums mellowly pound the rhythm, vocals uplift you, and squalls of noise filter in and out of the song.  If you play it on repeat, you’re bound to get lost in the simple beauty expressed here.

Every song on Pleasure is a listenable gem, each with twists and turns of its own.  The seemingly instrumental “Surface” fills out a void in the record, with Pure X providing you a sense to further allow immersion into their dense sound; oddly, it’s not dense at all. The use of sound and structure fills every inch of recording space, creating the juxtaposition of hollow, yet dense; it’s a sensation you must have for yourself. There’s short tracks like “Stuck Livin” that seem like heartfelt laments about life, yet much like San Francisco’s Girls, there’s a bright light glowing beneath the stark reality of our world. Even the single “Dry Ice” is worthy of every inch of praise its received.  It’s quiet at times, yet the group’s approach swallows you whole, forcing you into some sort of melodramatic trance from which you never want to escape.

People will always be skeptical of bands with great hype, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with any second of this record, though the band would probably disagree.  Pleasure is, to me, reminiscent of Spiritualized, utilizing the band’s creativity within the studio to extract every bit of sound possible, yet not filling it with indulgences.  Like Jason S., Pure X has crafted a delicate listen, one that whole-heartedly enthralls you track after track.  If there’s such a thing as modern classics, this one might well be on its way.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/08-Dry-Ice.mp3]

Download: Pure X – Dry Ice [MP3]

New Music from Girls

We’re always glad to hear something new coming from Girls.  They recently won new fans over at Austin City Limits, and now they’re releasing a new EP in order to give us even more.  The new EP is titled Broken Dreams Club, and it comes out on November 22ns via True Panther.  This single sees the band focusing less on their surf-ish sound, allowing Chris Owens to grab your heart with his vocals, which always have a nice little inflection for you to adore.  If this is their new direction, we’re getting pretty excited.  Give the new track a try.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Girls-Heartbreaker-1.mp3]

Download: Girls – Heartbreaker [MP3]

New Tunes from Spectrals

After lots of early hype this week, I decided to grab a hold of this over at Waterloo last night, and I’m grateful that I did.  I’ve been spinning the new 7″ from Spectrals all night long.  It doesn’t hurt that our faves Slumberland Records put the release on the streets here in the US.  For some reason it sort of reminds me of Camera Obscura smashing into Girls.  It’s got a little bit of a haphazard approach with that old 60s pop group twist.  It’s nothing short of enjoyable, so get on it.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/spectrals-7th-date.mp3]

Download: Spectrals – 7th Date [MP3]

New Tunes from Magic Bullets

San Francisco’s Magic Bullets once shared connections with members of Girls, but don’t let that fool you! This band is everything you love about groups like Orange Juice and The Smiths.  It’s got new-wave post-punk guitar chops and a bit of yelping vocal to boot. You can find this killer track, along with many others when the band release their second album Magic Bullets on Mon Amie Records on June 15th. Enjoy kids.

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

Download: Magic Bullets – Lying Around [MP3]

1/29 Girls @ The Parish

girlsshow_bannerGirls brought the stoned out and sunny, but never too sunny, sounds of their debut Album to life at the Parish last Friday.  With support by The Smith Westerns and Magic Kids it was a night of bright shards of pop bouncing off the Parish’s newly re-decorated walls.  A great night for a reverb drenched acid trip lead by the eccentric weirdness of Christopher Owens and his mighty side kick Chet White.   Follow the jump.

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Girls In Austin (1/29)

girls05

Date 1/29/10
Location Waterloo/Parish
Doors 5pm/9pm
Tickets Free/Sold Out

Girls are making their triumphant return to Austin on Friday and you’ve got two chances to see the band.  First up is a free Waterloo in-store starting at 5pm with the usual free keg beer.  Second is a show at The Parish along with Magic Kids and The Smith Westerns.  That Parish show has been sold out for awhile so try the free in-store or buy a ticket from a homeless guy at Logans.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/01-lust-for-life.mp3]

Download: Girls – Lust for Life [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

FT50: Songs of 2009

bestof2009cover_songsWe have to start this list off with a disclaimer.  We have three writers, all with different tastes, so the list should reflect that a little bit.  Also, these are our opinions, and by no means, are they meant to be seen as an “end all be all” to the question of what were the best songs of 2009.  That being said, we like our list quite a bit.  Sure, it’s got some expected numbers at the top, but the rest of the list is genius.  We’ve got some of the songs streaming for you, and the rest take you straight to youtube.  Follow the jump for full list.

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Free Sampler From Urban Outfitters

uonumber7So for the second time in our existence, we bring you an incredible free sampler from Urban Outfitters.  This one is the seventh installment in the companies LSTN series and features 25 tracks from established indie acts.  Artists include White Denim, Le Loup, No Age, Girls, and tons more.  Here’s one of those tracks from El Perro del Mar.  Download the whole thing on itunes and jam out on this Monday.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/01-Change-of-Heart.mp3]

Download: El Perro del Mar – Change of Heart [MP3]

ACL Interviews: Suckers

suckers_ACLToday we focus on some of the lesser known bands of ACL with an interview spotlighting relatively new Brooklyn band Suckers. We spoke to the man simply known as Pan this week via phone to find out a little bit about this new project. I think you will all be glad to know that Pan is in full support of my Pearl Jam pick for ACL. So there. Follow the jump for full interview.

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