Foot-Stomping Pop from Brothers In Law

Those of us who’ve found our lives intertwined with bedroom pop should be rejoicing over the world’s musical fascination with the genre’s reemergence over the last several years.  Even in Italy, Brothers In Law have been crafting their own propulsive blend of atmospheric guitar pop for some time, and they’ve finally got a full-length coming to light titled Hard Times for Dreamers, which is seeing a limited joint release between WWNBB and CF Records (who put out that excellent Sea Pinks record in 2012).  I can’t help but fall in love with this track…sure, there’s a dreamy quality, but I put it on and my arms can’t help but flail about as they spin me around the room in my office. Feel free to fan over this one.

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Top Albums of 2012: 50-1

Here it is.  I know you’ll hate it; I know you’ll disagree, but that’s not the point in making an arbitrary list.  We here at ATH worked really hard to fit in the tastes of the four of us, and when we decided upon our Top 50, it really boied down to simple math.  What albums did we love when they came out?  Do we still enjoy spinning those records months later? If they’re in the Top 50, then the asnwer is probably yes.  I mean, our Top 2 records came out in January, and still play a vital part in my weekly listening.  There’s no disclaimer here.  We are who we are, we like what we like, and we hope that’s okay with you. If not, drop us a line and let us know where we went wrong.

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Just Another Hit from Girls Names

Personally, I couldn’t be more excited about new music from Girls Names.  For one, the band’s drummer Neil has won me over with his Sea Pinks project, but I like the darkened underbelly hinted at with Girls Names.  Apparently after releasing Dead to Me, the band began to rework their sound, which is completely acceptable, but none the less important to the group’s developing sound.  This tune is a good four minutes shorter than their previous leaked single, but I think you’re going to like the feel of the tune.  It’s got a wayward jangle, but there’s a wafting quality created by the guitars and the vocals that carries the mood of the ]track. If you dig what you’re hearing (and you should!) then you can pick up their new effort, The New Life, on February 26th from Slumberland Records.

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New Tune from Girls Names

I’ve been in love with Girls Names since their inception, but even more so now that their drummer Neil is battling for album of the year with his latest effort as Sea Pinks.  That point aside, the group’s got a great new single they’ve throw out, illustrating the bold new steps they’re taking in working towards the completion of their upcoming record. There’s still an element of lurking darkness in their sound, but the music seems to have drifted into a broader spectrum that I think shows the group really pushing themselves to find a new playground (musically speaking).  I love the ringing guitar that jumps in just after the 4 minute mark.

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Sea Pinks – Freak Waves

Rating: ★★★★½

My love for Sea Pinks originally began when I discovered that the drummer of Girls Names, Neil, had started the group. My thoughts were that it would have the same dark jangle rock sound, and I guess the first LP, Dead Seas, does have a bit of that.  But, it didn’t prepare me for the incredible Freak Waves album that I cannot stop playing no matter where I go.

“Lake Superior” beings Freak Waves off with a nice jangling bounce, even including a bit of monosyllabic doo wop moments in the background.  It’s catchy, and it definitely sets the tone for the rest of the album.  That attitude is stepped up almost immediately with “A Pattern Recognition.” The vocals begin in step with the songs underlying groove, with a light guitar wavering in the background.  My highlight though is the vocal delivery during the chorus, just changing the heavier verse into a hint of warming pop as guitars pick up and dance away. It’s perfectly juxtaposed to the psych-pop elements of “False Spring,” which sounds like one of the long-lost Fresh & Onlys tunes.

Then you’re introduced to my favorite moments on this latest Sea Pinks release. It all begins with the refreshing “You’re Not Happy,” which is a song that lyrically I think a lot of us can relate to, not being able to completely make a loved one happy. I’m just in love with how the vocals are delivered in contrast to the heavy drum beat in the background.  I’ve probably played this track 40 times in the last two days. Then it moves into the slowly unfolding “An Act of Treason;” the song begins rather slowly with a twinkling guitar line off in the distance, yet its beauty is truly reached when the chorus of “I can make you cry” is repeated.  There’s something about the change in the vocal inflection that is so affecting and addictive that I can’t get it out of my head, nor do I want to do so. 

Even though the middle of the record has the meat and potatoes of pop brilliance, I can’t sit here and pretend like every song isn’t worthy of your attention.  For instance, I’m completely infatuated with “(Out of) The Capital,” which seems to be a reflective look at one’s life moving forward and away from their roots.  The refrain “I work out of the capital” has been playing in my mind all day long.  The song’s bounce is noteworthy too, but I think once you listen to this track you’ll see that its efforts speak for itself.

Sea Pinks might not be one of the many band’s on many people’s list, at least not yet in the United States, and that’s quite a shame.  I haven’t had this much fun listening to a record through and through in a long time, making this review easy to write about.  Freak Waves isn’t an ordinary record, and those of you looking for something to appease your jangling pop fix might find this one of the best albums to come your way this year. You know what, who cares about genres, this might just be one of the best things I’ve heard.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Sea-Pinks-A-Pattern-Recognition.mp3]

Download: Sea Pinks – A Pattern Recognition [MP3]

Freak Waves is out now on CF Records.

Brand New Single from Sea Pinks!

We’ve always enjoyed the work of Sea Pinks ever since the project started, and I’m so excited they’ve got a brand new LP in the works.  In fact, it’s already done and titled Freak Waves; the record will be released by CF Records, who’ve recently put out a collection of B-Sides from the group.  As soon as the jangling guitar line bursts in from the opening, I was hooked.  But, I really like the way the vocal is delivered with the words “a pattern recognition” in the chorus; it’s the hook that made me gravitate towards this song.  Love this band so hard.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Sea-Pinks-A-Pattern-Recognition.mp3]

Download: Sea Pinks – A Pattern Recognition [MP3]

 

Great Pop Jangling from Sea Pinks

Last year we talked about our adoration for Sea Pinks and their record Dead Seas, which you need to get if you haven’t.  But, I’m here to talk about a new track, sort of; this song, along with several others will comprise The Flip Side cassette being released by the Belfast group next week; it’s basically a collection of B-Sides and demos since the band’s incarnation. Every time I listen to this song, I can’t help but wonder why on Earth it didn’t make a proper album? I mean, it’s got the bounce, a nice cool vocal chorus, and everything else one needs to make a stellar hit! Just think, if these are the sort of tracks the group bangs out as B-Sides, you know something great is about to happen.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Staycation.mp3]

Download:Sea Pinks – Staycation [MP3]

New Music from Sea Lions

Make no mistake about it, the last few years have seen a huge resurgence for Slumberland Records, and yet the consistently seem to discover great band after great band.  Sea Lions is their latest signing, and this little number right here is a perfect fit to the label’s sound.  There’s a bit of a washed out jangle floating in there, but singer Adrian Pillado have a fairly distinct vocal delivery, which differentiates the outfit from a lot of their current peers.  Personally, I like the clarity of the vocals because, whether or not this is true, they seemingly have no vocal effects in the mix, making it easier for you to find your favorite lyric.  First Sea Pinks and now Sea Lions? Must be the year of Sea creatures.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Grown-Up-Single-Edit.mp3]

Download: Sea Lions – Grown Up [MP3]

Their album, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid to Ask is out on 11/22 via Slumberland.

New Single from Girls Names

Earlier this year I raved about Girls Names full length, Dead to Me, so when they announced the release of a new single on Slumberland Records, I scrambled to listen to it.  It’s exactly what I expect coming from this group, although the guitar lines seem really clean–that’s a positive.  Deep vocals floating through it all and steady drumming build an excellent foundation for this little jam.  Between this and Sea Pinks (the drummer’s project) it seems like Belfast is under control of these lads; surely we’ll all benefit from this!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Girls_Names_-_Black_Saturday.mp3]

Download: Girls Names – Black Saturday [MP3]

New Music From Sea Pinks

Ah yes, that old familiar new band smell is in the air today with a new tune called “Fountain Tesserae” from UK outfit Sea Pinks.  The new project is fronted by a familiar face in the form of Neil Brogan who spends most of his musical time in indie hit makers Girls Names.  Neil’s new project has a debut LP Dead Seas ready for release physically and digitially on September 6th via CF/Records.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/SeaPinks-FountainTesserae.mp3]

Download: Sea Pinks – Fountain Tesserae [MP3]

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