You’re going to have to face it; there’s really nothing out there like Sunwatchers at the moment. Sure, you had hints of the psychedelic noise with late Mars Volta, but it never delved into the realms of free-form jazz like this bunch does with their keys/sax work. Plus, while other acts of the same ilk seem to rely upon over-indulgence, or jamming, everything about this latest single reeks of purpose. The guitar line slithers about from the get-go, backed by the drums, awaiting the arrival of the keys; eventually the sax joins in and they break all confines of modern pop structures. If you’re willing to take a chance on rocking outside the norm, then be sure to grab II from Trouble In Mind Records on February 2nd.
Sunwatchers are a band with purpose. They are a band intent upon affecting change in the world. Firm in their beliefs, they now turn to their music as exploration of that aim, or perhaps a little solace as well. This tune below is not for the faint of heart, or the armchair indie rocker; it’s opening minute is almost entirely encapsulated in the word squawk. Horns continue, with a rhythmic guitar line adding pace and noisy disruption through the song’s core. It’s a four minute extravaganza of artful noise, going nowhere and everywhere at once. The band will release their new album, II, via Trouble In Mind on February 2nd, with proceeds from the project going to prison abolitionist movements.
Look, I’m not here to tell you how to live you life, but when it’s halfway through the work week and you’re dragging along, one thing that always refreshes me is some good old fashion face melting rock and roll. Fuzz, another outfit from Ty Segall and company, are here to aid in that refreshing process with the announcement of their second full length album called II, and with the gift of two new tracks from that upcoming record. This new album will be out October 23rd via In The Red Records, and while we await that record, we can taste what’s to come with “Pollinate,” and “Rat Race.” While both of these tracks bring the psychedelic rock and roll to your ears, they do so differently: “Rat Race” is more of a straight up rock track with punk influences, while “Pollinate,” is a grungey psych rock slow burner. I’m digging both, what are your thoughts?
I always thought I was in the know for the Finnish rock n’ roll scene, though it’s clear I’ve still got some things to learn, as I haven’t been too acquainted with the Splits, though they’re set to release their second album via Dirtnap Records. There’s a vicious opening, that some might even call brash. But, don’t let that set you off, as there’s multiple vocal parts, balancing out the angst-ridden punk growl with a solid pop croon. It’s an energetic tune, filled with fun times and attitude; look for II on April 21st.
Nude Beach is a band that received tons of coverage from us last year with their incredible album II. Hell, a spot on the top songs list AND the top albums list in the same year basically means you are ATH approved for life and can do no wrong. The band may be in for another big year and are kicking things off with this new song “I’m Giving Up”. Of course it’s a rock n roll tune with some super slick guitars that don’t seem to quit jamming until the song is done blasting through its 2 and a half minutes.
This is the B-Side on a new 7″ single with A-side “What Can Ya Do”.
There’s very few records out there that force you to pause and take a deep breath, momentarily reflecting upon the great possibilities that await you. This is precisely what happened to me when I first put on II, the latest release from New York’s Nude Beach. For me, it’s exactly everything I love in music…a little bit punk, a little bit pub and a whole lot of hooks; isn’t that what we all want?
“Radio” is the opener for II, and it’s a great way to start things; it’s sort of power-pop, but the type that was sung by your older brother when he was hanging out doing Springsteen covers with his friends. This vocal’s not punk rock; there’s a bit of classic American pop sensibility, which is refreshing in this genre. And of course, the band moves into a bit of their Elvis Costello work on the following track “Walking Down My Street,” but I like the slight bit of yelp that comes through; it balances out with the smoothness of the song’s chorus.
But, as much as I love to write about great power-pop tunes, Nude Beach adds an extra bit of pop that lays outside the tried-and-true formula. You take a tune like “You Make It So Easy,” and you can tell that this group isn’t defined by the historical context of the tunes they obviously favor. I like the mellower approach, the touches of keyboard bouncing in the background and I don’t even mind the guitar solo. You’ll also find hints of a good old-fashioned ballad by way of “Don’t Have to Try,” which is pretty much just a slow jam to close down the night at the bars, again with a late touch of organ in the background.
While it’s refreshing to see that II isn’t fueled by pure energy through and through, the peppy songs don’t hurt the release by any means. “Cathedral Echoes” is perhaps the most punk rock jam on the album, with furious pacing by the percussion section and a bratty bent on the vocals. I like the swagger you can feel coming through the speakers on this tune, adding a bit of bounce to the record as it’s stuck between a few softer tunes. Album closer “Loser in the Game” has a similar edgy punch to it, but the song itself is a bit steadier, with a bit of that pub-rock swoon swinging atop the instruments. For me, it’s all good fun, and that’s what I want from my rock n’ roll.
Nude Beach may have been bouncing around their local scene, but they’ve executed a pretty flawless album with II. There are songs with a romantic leaning, there are tunes with energy, but it’s all done with a working class sensibility, making it one of the most enjoyable records I’ve written about in a long time. Now’s the time for these dudes, and this effort shows that times are good…and they’ll only get better.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Walkin_Down_My_Street.mp3]
Download:Nude Beach – Walkin Down My Street [MP3]
One of the acts I’m really excited for everyone to catch onto this year is Nude Beach. Personally, I don’t think there’s really anything else out there like this at the moment, with a fusion of classic pop rock and lo-fi garage. Their new album II will come out on August 14th via Other Music Recording Co, which has made some great signings. If you’re looking to get transported back into the past a little bit, but hold onto a hint of your hipster credibility, then you gotta fall in love with Nude Beach; you won’t be disappointed.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/01-radio.mp3]
Now, this is a band I’m definitely going to get behind! Nude Beach is from NY, and you can see some lineage to old school NY. The group’s got this swagger and this street-smart sound…and there’s a hint of garage pop to boot. They’ve recently signed on to Other Music Recording Co, who will help put out the group’s newest record, II, on August 14th this year. It’s a track that should have pretty much all music fans salivating, using bits of modern indie rock fused with a classic street sound. I’m going to love this record, and I bet you will too.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Walkin_Down_My_Street.mp3]
Philadelphia’s Arc in Round have just released a new digital album, II, on their BANDCAMP page, and though it’s short with only five songs, I’ve been playing it all morning long. It’s definitely going to fall in the vein of dream-pop, but the execution of the finished product is what is so rewarding. Washed vocals, bright guitar/string moments all lead you into a sonic haven where you can sit absorbed in your own thoughts. My favorite track of the five is “Time Spent,” and you can listen down below for a preview. Currently, the band are offering up II for a name your own price deal, but be sure to support the band, as good music always deserves our support. Don’t forget to go back and give their great back catalog a listen while you’re at it.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/04-Time-Spent.mp3]
Download: Arc in Round – Time Spent [MP3]