The Illness is a fairly new band to me, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I was initially drawn to this tune because of the inclusion of Steve West (Pavement’s drummer). There sound seems familiar, though I can’t pinpoint precisely why I love it it so much. At times, there are some VU feels working in there, though you can also hear a touch of David Berman in the vocals. Still, it’s the little flourishes in the studio that really brought this track to life for me. It could be the ittle brass notes in the middle background, or maybe the way the guitar strum works into a more focused electric buzz; I think I even heard a faint bird chirp, which could just be a lost note popping its head out. It’s that sort of everything-and-the-kitchen-sink feel, yet still executed well enough to sound perfectly organic. Loving it, and if you do too, you’ll find it on the band’s new 12″ out July 10th via Sea Records.
Deeper should be one of those bands that everyone is raving about; they’ve got the recent hype, celebrated live shows and they definitely have the songs. This track plays between the genres of modern emo and dream pop, drawing out the vocals while crafting a sense of never-ending descent; still, it doesn’t just stop there, leaving you with a bit of instrumental sprawl. Each time I play it, I envision myself falling through some distorted rabbit hole, only to find myself beached upon a lost shore, bewildered, yet smiling. Fire Talk Records will be releasing the group’s self-titled album on May 25th.
I’ve really been devouring all I’ve heard from Honey Bucket. They sound like an amalgam of everything I love, be it slacker rock a la Pavement or hooky Aussie guitar rock. It’s got a great bounce to it, comes across as honest and gets the boost of repeated listens in my stereo. This song almost seems unintentional, as if the hooks just came naturally via jamming out in their practice space; I love that about it, especially when it launches forward in the latter half of the track with more energy.They’re pumping up the press lately, getting ready for the world to hear Magical World; it’ll be out on August 19th via See My Friends Records.
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Some songs spread like wildfire, going all over the Internet. I usually ignore those, as who needs another voice shouting into the void, but in the case of Attic Basement, I can’t hold back. This lead single from their forthcoming record sounds a bit like Pavement, but it’s filled with these little imperfections, such as the stretch of the vocal pitch at times. But, in that, it’s successful, reminding of us of purely passionate music being poured out on the stage. You can feel this song. That means the most. Their new LP Dream News will be out via Father Daughter on May 27th.
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You looking for the new Malkmus? The new Pavement? I think you better invest some time in this new Clearance single. It’s a little bit more upbeat than some of the band’s other recordings, but it’s infectious stylings are undeniable. After a slew of well-received 7 inches, the group are finally coming around to release their debut, Rapid Rewards; it will see a release date on September 29th via Tall Pat and Unsatisfied Records. Seriously, if you don’t hear Malkmus in here you aren’t listening close enough…get that ear up to the speaker.
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How many bands have you heard of from Prince Edward Island? Well, if you haven’t, you need to mark Boxer the Horse down on your list as band to adore. The quartet are back with their second album, French Residency, and it’s a gem. A lot of the record really harkens back to the innocent pop of the Lucksmiths, but I couldn’t resist throwing this number out there, as it’s definitely one of those you can play over and over. You might also find a bit of Pavement in the vocals/lyrics, just as the guitars cascade with bliss, grabbing you by the ears and rocking you out. I’ve been jamming this one all day long.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Boxer-the-Horse-French-Residency-03-Rattle-Your-Cage.mp3]
Download:Boxer the Horse – Rattle Your Cage [MP3]
The former Pavement singer/guitarist returned to Austin at the newly renovated Mohawk, but he was here to promote Mirror Traffic–no hopes of Pavement songs! Local boys TV Torso opened up the gig, and Nurses were the middling act on a pretty laid back evening over at the Mohawk.
|Date||Wednesday, Feb 22nd|
|Tickets||$17 from Frontgate|
It’s not like Stephen Malkmus really needs much of an introduction, or really needs to hand out incentives to come see his show at Mohawk on Wednesday. He’s the main man from Pavement, who has carefully crafted a nice solo career since then. You should go, period. But, you can also catch two great opening acts on the evening, Nurses and TV Torso. TV Torso are our local boys, banging out solidified indie rock tunes that stick in your head and echo in your ears. Nurses put out Draclua last year, a stunner of an album that really had the band turning heads…so get there to witness then in their glory. Two great opening acts and an indie legend. Need we say more?[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/tryingtoreachyou.mp3]
Download:Nurses – Trying to Reach You [MP3]
When you get a press release that mentions Belle and Sebastian, The Flaming Lips and Pavement all at once, you’ve either got to be excited or scared. After listening to this single from The Color Bars, I will definitely say I’m leaning towards excitement, and clamoring to get my hands on their recently released record, Prosopopoeia. Really, it’s just great pop music, and with the electronic influence on this track, I’m getting more of an Of Montreal feeling here, giving a bit of classic quirkiness, though it’s a bit more in the nerdy vein as opposed to Kevin Barnes hyper sexuality. Just let the hooks sweep you through the day.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/structupoppierally.mp3]
Download: The Color Bars – Structupoppie Rally [MP3]
Hailing from New Jersey, Cymbals Eat Guitars are a four-person band with one album, Why Are They Mountains, under their belt already. Released in 2009, that album rewarded this band with comparisons to bands like Modest Mouse, and Pavement. On this new effort, they looked to work on it more collaboratively, and the effect of this is a band that sounds more controlled, and the instrumental parts feel tightly knit and well thought out on Lenses Alien.
The first song is “Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name),” which is an eight and a half minute long track, but it’s really just two songs pushed together with the help of some atmospheric guitar feedback noise in between the two. For roughly the first three minutes of this track, you have this lovely bouncy and jangly alternative rock song, complete with the harsh vocals of lead singer, Joseph D’Agostino, whose voice reminds me a bit of John Paul Pits, of Surfer Blood, due to its ability to turn ragged and grungy in an instant. You get a chance to see this switch to grungier on the second half of the first song, in which the guitars are fiercer, the cymbals crash more, and the pacing is faster. D’Agostino gets his chance to command the song with his vocals that are exasperated and rough at first. However, as the song calms down, so does the raspy nature in his voice, softening, if only for contrast as the song resurges to its final height.
After this monster of a song, it would be easy for the rest of the other tracks to pale in comparison, but each brings a lovely new element to the table. On “Shore Points,” you have a nice little surf rock jam, complete with angular guitars and enticing backing vocals from the other band members. Following immediately on “Keep Me Waiting,” there’s a killer bass line just bubbling under the surface, waiting for your ears to pick it out and move your body to it.
While there are softer songs on here, like “Wavelengths” toward the end of the album, Lenses Alien does seem to fall a little one dimensional upon the inaugural listen. Perhaps there is too much of a good thing on this album; the heavy guitar and nasal vocals seems a little grating by the end of the ten song album. Maybe, with much repeated listening, there is more to this sophomore release, but as of now, it’s a pretty middle of the road album.