A couple of weeks ago I shared with you guys a new single from up and coming Seattle based outfit Tincho and many of you have requested to hear more. Well today your wishes are granted with a stream of Tincho’s entire new EP Nos Vemos! I’ve already shared my comparisons with my previous posts so now I simply recommend that you spend some time with this 5 song album today. I promise you won’t regret it.
We’ve already posted a couple of new songs from Seattle based group Boyfriends over the last two months and it’s clear that we are all fans of the band. With that said, it seems obvious for me to share this new single from the band today entitled “Pleasures”. Once again we are treated to a brief, yet energetic and catchy tune full of brightness and fun. Seriously, you really can’t deny this.
Don’t forget to pick up their new 7″ featuring this song and two others later this month on Gold Van Records.
This is Boyfriends, not Boyfriendz. This is Seattle rock n’ roll at its greatest pinnacle. Creativity and catchiness, propelled by a band sending out a message to the masses in everything they do. Of course, it has to be fitting that they’ll be touring soon with their like-minded friends Tacocat. You want an energetic bouncer to kick off your Monday in a spastic manner? Dig into this track, and then keep an eye out for their new 7″ later on this month via Gold Van Records.
Bare with this track; I know the opening 30 seconds are a bit strange, but this new Boyfriends tune is definitely a fun bit of pop music to kick off the week. There’s angular guitar stabs accented by synth stabs. Vocals are delivered in an off-kilter manner, leaving listeners with distinct memories; hold on for the chorus too, and the voice gets some warm harmonizing by the best of the band. Pop music, and this brand of pop in particular, is meant to be fun, so sit back and enjoy yourself. Why so serious?
Seattle based musician Chris Staples is often times more well known for the artists he frequently supports as a guitarist than for his own outstanding solo material. Today I want to put the spotlight on Chris and share with you his beauty of a new single called “Hold Onto Something”. You can expect a mellow tune that may take some time to get under your skin and find a home, but once it does, you will find it’s not going anywhere. Chris easily has one of my favorite voices in the business.
Pick up new album, American Soft, on August 12th via Barsuk Records.
It’s the perfect time of year for a song like this one from Seattle based Hibou. The surfy and jangly vibe should be perfect to carry you along your way to the beach or possibly the lake. Hit play on “Sunder” and start your summer relaxation off the right way.
Hibou has a new EP entitled Dunes out June 13th.
As a pseudo-music critic it pains me to admit that I often have a tendency to over-analyze the music put before me. Sometimes music is just meant to be fun; it doesn’t have to have this higher meaning you can only discern by thumbing through the lyrics sheet. The debut LP, Repeat, by Seattle’s Wimps is just that. It’s a rock n’ roll record meant to be blasted loud through your speakers. If you approach it just right, you’re going to pogo about your house like your teenage self.
“Slept In Late” kicks Repeat off in a great fashion, getting your energy pumping from the very get-go. Rachel Ratner’s vocals have this natural brattiness, but in the endearing manner that most of us who love punk rock will easily enjoy. Guitars are turned up to just the right levels, careful not to appear over-bearing in front of the drum kit. That same no-frills attitude comes in again with “Grump,” a song that immediately begins with exuberant shouting. But, before the group dallies in repetition, they decide to switch things up with careful guitar work instead. It’s a slight move away from the opening track, albeit not too far.
Upon repeated listens with Wimps my ears seem to gravitate towards “Hello Frustration.” I love the sound of the guitar here, which almost has a bit of a stutter to it. The call-and-response lyrics of “let’s grow old and be boring” are perfectly delivered, allowing the song to stand-out just a bit from its predecessors. From here it only gets better as you blast off into “UFO.” There’s a bit of a swing to the overall feel of this tune, which will have you tapping your toes as you rock along. And sure, the lyrics might be a bit juvenile, but when did we start taking our rock n’ roll so seriously?
Repeat has a lot of songs that don’t necessarily have lofty lyrical aspirations, but I don’t remember “Judy Was a Punk” being the most poetic piece ever. Perhaps there’s even a bit of tongue-in-cheek nerdiness, especially when you listen to songs like “Stop Having Fun.” I mean, come on, the opening line is “I got a long face/that’s because I’m a horse.” You’re allowed to appreciate music just on its own basis, and that’s just what I feel this debut from Wimps provides. You’re not going browse through the insert looking for deeper meaning in lyrical craftsmanship, but you’re going to have a hell of a time turning this one up really loud. Throughout Repeat, the vocals are shouted in joy, and the guitars bring in a distorted garage rock mess. It’s rock n’ roll music, and I love the way Wimps pull it off.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Stop-Having-Fun.mp3]
Download:Wimps – Stop Having Fun [MP3]
It’s a good thing ballsy rock n’ roll is back in fashion, otherwise the hits that Unnatural Helpers have been churning out up in Seattle might not sound as sweet. But, that’s not the case, so the short hits from the foursome hit hard and fast, then they’re gone, leaving you with the desire to hit repeat over and over again on their latest LP, Land Grab (Hardly Art).
“Medication” immediately introduces you to the bouncing garage pop side of the group, using a rolling drum beat and catchy guitar line that forces your toes to tap themselves to death. Vocals are delivered in a sort of spoken word manner, though I enjoy the bratty edge of Dean Whitmore, even when the poppy backing vocals join in. They’ll stay in the same place for a moment with “Stiff Wind,” although you’ll probably find the guitars a bit more dangerous than on the opener. Land Grab is definitely a record you can turn up loud while the wind blows your hair straight back.
While the pop element exists in spots for Unnatural Helpers, I’m particular to the more punk leaning sounds that they’ve been able to balance in between the bubbly elements. You’re first real taste of this sort comes via “I Trust It Hurts;” I imagine this song being best sung by Whitmore stalking an audience with sweat dripping down his face–it’s over just as you get yourself moving, which might be a slight drawback. “Hate Your Teachers” is another such song, beginning with a heavy bass sound, which continues with a barrage of noisy guitars and frenetic pacing. For me, the punk rock ethos pervades the entire album, but it’s good to have the above mixed tracks in here to provide some differentiation in the group’s sound.
All that said, Land Grab has a few incredible hits that weren’t represented in the singles, my favorite being “Waiting Girl.” It closely represents the poppier side of the band, with forceful riffs blasting through the speakers from the moment the song opens. Here, the vocals have a bit of a cool swing, something you’d find in old UK post-punk records; it’s helped by the addition of vocals that chime in in unison during the chorus. It might not be the hardest hitting song the band’s got, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t everyone’s favorite track by the end of your listen.
There’s two great things that Unnatural Helpers have going for them, aside from being on a great label: short songs and differentiation. The short songs are great because with a sound like this, you don’t want to be overbearing or grow too complacent, which is why the differentiation factor is so important. Yes, you can see a similar strain of thought in the music, but not many of the songs sound exactly the same. That’s really refreshing considering the genre has the uncanny ability to grow stale after too many repeated listens. Fortunately for you, Land Grab benefits for the group’s hard work and stylistic choices, leaving you with one of those records you want to turn up loud and play for all your friends.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/UnnaturalHelpers_HateYourTeachers.mp3]
Download:Unnatural Helpers – Hate Your Teachers [MP3]
Land Grab is available now from Hardly Art.
You’ve gotta depend on your Internet friends when it comes to discovering the scene across the country, so I’m glad Toby over at Finest Kiss in Seattle turned me onto this band Zebra Hunt. The three-piece outright definitely has some Oceanic hints in their works, but I also see a modern bent in the recording process, allowing for the central melody to really burst through here. They’ve got a short little EP that you can download for free over at their BANDCAMP page, and I promise you’ll be spending the rest of your day listening to these three gems. Have fun here folks.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Zebra-Hunt-Zebra-Hunt-01-Half-Right.mp3]
Download:Zebra Hunt – Half Right [MP3]
I’ve heard whispers of Orca Team for sometime, and now that I’ve got some time to sit down and listen to their new release, Restraint, I think I’ve found the album that will be with me for the rest of this warm Texas summer. Oddly, the group’s from the Northwest, but a great record is a great record, right? It’s got a little bit of a beach party vibe, but wrapped in a nice box of pop. If you’re looking for something light-hearted, yet written really well, then you’ll probably find yourself, like me, spending an awful lot of time with this record.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/06-Too-Busy-To-Love-Me.mp3]