Show Preview: Crystal Castles @ Austin Music Hall (4.21)

Crystal Castles

Date Sunday, April 21st
Location Austin Music Hall
Doors 7:00 PM
Tickets $30 from Frontgate

I’ve been really excited about this show since its announcement.  Not only have I really appreciated the growth of Crystal Castles that was is illustrated by their latest, III, but their live show at ACL was definitely in my personal favorites this year.  They blend noise, electronica, fog and lights; it’s simply compelling.  Opening up the night is Doldrums, who aren’t too shabby either.  We’ve been fortunate enough to catch them opening for several acts over the last year or so, and I can assure you that it’s worth your time to show up early.  It might be pricy, but you’re going to get your money’s worth!


Download:Crystal Castles – Plague [MP3]

The Eastern Sea @ The Parish (1.19)

Date Saturday, January 19th
Location The Parish
Doors 8:00 PM
Tickets $12 from The Parish

After an excellent 2012, The Eastern Sea is taking aim at the New Year, bringing their sounds to The Parish–they’ll benefit from such an excellent sound board.  Their release of Plague last year made a lot of year end lists, including our own, so you can expect an incredible set from the group Saturday night.  They’ll be joined by The Kopecky Family Band and Emily Wolfe on the evening, rounding out a solid bill for a jam-packed weekend of music.  If you like you’re tunes well-crafted, then this is the place to be this weekend.


Download:The Eastern Sea – A Lie [MP3]

Track From Crystal Castles

The new album comes out in November. They will play ACL on Sunday at 7:30pm.

Crystal Castles has released this diddy to the internets. It is one of those sweeping gothic things they do with a nice backdrop of danceable electro. Download link in the embed, dig it.

Expect the Honda stage to be packed with your friends as I think they are up against Randy Rogers and Childish Gambino.

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&show_artwork=false&color=ff7700″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

New Jam from Crystal Castles

Interestingly, I don’t think I’ve ever actually written about Crystal Castles on this site, though I jam to the band quite frequently.  On their newest single, which should be from their forthcoming album, the group is showing some real progression, musically.  They’re not relying on the old 8-bit samples and heavy-handed beats, rather they’re working on letting the song evolve.  Alice’s vocals are sort of hidden in the track, and while it doesn’t hit nearly as hard as their earlier club-bangers, it’s still got a groove you can throw on when you’re dancing with your homies. Totally digging it.


Download:Crystal Castles – Plague [MP3]

The Eastern Sea – Plague

Rating: ★★★★☆

As we all know, Austin is a giant arena for up and coming bands to make their names known, but in such a big scene, how do you stand out amongst the others trying just as hard as you? For The Eastern Sea, their delicately forceful rock, complete with some uniquely striking vocals sets them apart from the average bedroom rock band. Upon first listen, Plague gives off an illuminating quality that yields further listening and promises that this band has a lot to bring to the table.

The opener and title track introduces the deep sound that The Eastern Sea builds upon with the rest of the album. A slow burner, “Plague,” relies on a thick coating of atmospheric sound and a gradual build that shows the range in Matt Hines vocals. It’s a refined number that reveals just how much control the band has, and the restraint that is employed early on, leaving you yearning to know just what is in store when they let loose. As if they know what you’re waiting for, the next song, “Wasn’t For Love,” picks up the pace and gives you a taste of the layers of complexity that combine seamlessly. The track begins with a groovy bass line, and continually adds upon itself with a lighter line of jingly percussion, a looping guitar hook and of course Hines’ James Mercer/Ben Gibbard-esque vocals. Some horns join in on the chorus and later in the song, and you’re forced to marvel at how very put-together this band is; they are controlled chaos at its finest, knowing where to reel in before it becomes too much.

As aforementioned, in a town so big on music, something is needed to set apart, and what the Eastern Sea has going for them is their control and an album packed with interesting and excitingly good songs. There are numbers like “Santa Rosa” on which the lyrics are sharp and quick witted, and more horns join in, leading up to a sizzling couple of choruses, before they pull back and end the track on a quieter, refined note. The band pulls back one slower numbers like “The Match,” but still builds to an explosive ending. There is a great mixture of loud and quiet, controlled and chaotic that pushes the elements of sound of this group above others.

There really isn’t much to complain about on Plague; it’s a beautiful album that will have those who love some classic indie rock begging for more. So enjoy this effort from a local band and look forward to this band blowing up in the near future.

Show Preview: The Eastern Sea (Album Release) @ Stubbs (6/22)

Date Friday, June 22nd
Location Stubb’s
Doors 1000 pm
Tickets $8 @ the Door

I know there’s some great shows going on this Friday, but one that everyone that claims to support the Austin scene needs to be at is the Eastern Sea album Release over at Stubbs. Their new album, Plague, is something I know that everyone will enjoy, crossing boundaries of indie rock and forging into well-crafted mass appeal.  This is definitely one of the Austin bands that’s on the rise, so come support the group before they hit the road.  And of course, if you show up early you get to see another solid Austin (via Michigan) artist, Dana Falconberry, who’s always worth your top dollar.


Download:The Eastern Sea – A Lie [MP3]

New Tune from Austin’s The Eastern Sea

The Eastern Sea is sure to have a great year, if you’re going off this new single from their upcoming album, Plague.  You can get your hand on this record on June 26th via the WhiteLabBlackLab Label.  Our first listen to the record is pretty splendid; it opens with a trickling bit of guitar work.  It’s so gentle in its approach that you might skip the quieted lyrics that enter around the 1 minute mark, but once they grab hold of you, you’ll pray that they stick around.  The vocals are so fitting to the emotional state of the song that you’ll be pressing your ear closer to your speakers in hopes of grasping every bit of the tune. Pretty sure you’re going to love this track.


Download:The Eastern Sea – A Lie [MP3]