We’ve been keeping ourselves pretty busy this year with our various releases on ATH Records, so we aim to keep that up, at least for the time being. We’ve teamed up with our good friends over at Fleeting Youth Records to release a super special limited edition LP from Austin’s Basketball Shorts; Hot and Ready will come on clear vinyl with smoky blue swirls…a run of 350 split across the three participating parties. The band have long been a favorite of the Austin scene, blasting pop punk jams in your face whenever they take the stage. This is their debut LP, and we couldn’t be more excited for you to hear it. Pre-Order is up; it’ll ship on or before July 12th.
Honestly, there wasn’t an Austin label that kicked as much ass in 2014 as 12XU…they had three of our Top 10 Austin LPs. So, anytime the label offers something you’ve gotta take note, especially when it comes to local act Xetas. If you’ve caught their live set then you’ve probably been warned, but this single from their upcoming The Redeemer LP is one of those tracks that manages to capture the band’s live fury, whilst still boasting of solid production value. It’s a track with a breakneck pace, with slaughtering guitar riffs that cut through your speakers. I figure there’s only a matter of time before a band with such tenacity and killer licks breaks into the consciousness beyond Austin. Look for the LP in stores at the end of February.
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When news that Rostam from Vampire Weekend and Wes from Ra Ra Riot would unite to create an album under the name of Discovery, the Internet was afire with fans of both bands, all hoping that they could combine the magic of their individual outfits into something that would supersede both. LP is the title of said album, and while there are definitely moments that seem worthy of accolades, it’s unclear at this juncture just how far the adoration will carry the group.
Opener “Orange Shirt” hits from the opening with musical beats reminiscent of Passion Pit, except it goes beyond that similarity, as Wes actually has a quality vocal to place atop the beats. However, the beats just don’t seem to hit too hard, nor do they really go anywhere; it’s sort of a stationary song in itself, and doesn’t quite build.
“Can You Discover” is somewhat of a remix, as the lyrics come from Ra Ra Riot‘s “Can You Tell.” Unfortunately, once you strip away the textures from the original, the song seems really simple, as if it was sort of an afterthought in its production. Also, using auto-tune on the vocals seems like a huge injustice, ruining the power of Wes Miles’ voice.
The middle of the album seems to be where you find the meat and potatoes of the album, or maybe it’s just the potatoes. “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” features Angel from Dirty Projectors, which adds a different touch to the monotony of the album, and it probably has one of the stronger beats on the album, but the keyboard meanderings get a little tiring. “Swing Tree” is in this section of the album, and it probably carries the most interesting production, at least up to this point in the album. The high pitched electronics don’t sound too basic, though the beat looped in seems to be one of the most common element throughout the album itself. And here, you also find “Carby” which has vocals from Ezra of Vampire Weekend. It’s probably one of the gems on the album; probably one of the few songs you could throw into a club mix.
In it’s entirety, the one thing that this album doesn’t have is the catchiness factor, which both members exude in their own right with their main gigs. Almost every beat seems mundane, as if they just took the samples from the radio, and reran them through some sort of mixer. It takes the heart out of the music itself, and all the moments of joy that we usually associate with these two artists are rendered useless for the most part. Overall, the album comes off as a generic stab at taking indie bands to the dance floors of the world, but ultimately, it seems like this might fail.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/07-carby-ft-ezra-koenig.mp3]
Download: Discovery – Carby [MP3]