Top Albums of 2021

Honestly, I’m pretty over lists at this point. They’re arbitrary and don’t really reflect anything but someone’s tastes, except here where they reflect the tastes of three individuals…because that’s how we roll. So, take this list with a grain of salt. These are the records we thought were the best, which mostly just means these are the ones we listened to on repeat throughout the year! Feel free to leave a comment on what you think we missed, or why we’re dumb; we love good comment trolls.

Also, because this list is really about crediting the art that made us happy, we wanted it to make you happy too, so we included purchasing links where we could. Read more

New Music from So Cow

To be honest, I really want to post everything from this new So Cow record (though I don’t actually have it); I’d honestly post anything Brian Kelly was involved in at this point in time. There’s a brand new album titled Bisignis coming out via Dandy Boy Records, and well, I think your day is only going to get better after pressing play on these jams. I mean, I’d try to wrap it up in a nice little pigeonholed package, but I’m not sure that would do the sounds justice; I can hear elements of early Thermals, though there’s also tidbits of TV Personalities and maybe even hints at someone who was jamming to Rivers Cuomo at a young age…maybe that’s just me. Whatever. This Friday the whole LP drops, and it should be in your Bandcamp cart on Friday.

Dandy Boy Records Release Television Personalities Tribute Comp

Despite a horrible toll on our souls and families, there have been some minimal bright spots in the art world, like friends working together to organize compilations. Last week Dandy Boy Records dropped this incredible Television Personalities Tribute. Not only does the album pay homage to one of my favorite bands, but its filled with artists we’ve covered countless times. As I write this I’m jamming to Jeanines cover “Jackanory Story,” but of course it never hurts to hear the “Silly Girl” cover by Friendless Summer. Plus, you get our friend RE Seraphin, So Cow, and Odd Hope (recent single via Slumberland Records). I could go on and on with all the great tunes, or I could just leave Mummy Mummy Please Look at Me below for you to enjoy today!

Top 20 LPs of 2019…According to Lost Sound Tapes

There’s a handful of really really great tape labels out there, and one that is near and dear to our hearts is Lost Sound Tapes, run by Jon Manning. He’s done an incredible job of curating, and I almost always find myself in love with a handful of his releases each year, like Olivia’s World and Lisa Prank this year! So, I reached out and asked him to pop off with some of his favorite releases…and here we are. Enjoy!

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New Music from Half Forward Line

Well, it’s all going to be new music from Half Forward Line, as the group is a brand new project from members of So Cow and Oh Boland. This tune kicks off with cutting guitar chords, pushing toward power-pop stardom, enhanced by a bubbling bass line working under the mix. On the vocals, they seem to have more melody than what one would expect (thinking of past projects), which actually makes the track all the more endearing. It’s guitar pop of the best sort, and there’s eleven other gems waiting for you if you grab their debut, The Back of Mass, over at Jigsaw Records.

So Cow Announces New Album on Jigsaw Records

socowWhen thinking about So Cow, I can’t really think of another band around that’s been able to release four albums, improving upon each release and always staying true to the sound. It’s all owed to songwriter Brian Kelly, who has decided to play all the instruments on the latest LP, Lisa Marie Airplane Tour. You can hear the history of Irish/British songwriting, personal, playful and with a little bit of ramshackle rock n’ roll; I always feel like its a better produced Television Personalities. This brand new album (the fifth full length!) will be released by Jigsaw Records on September 15th, and we’ve got this exciting new preview below for your soon-to-be happy ears.

So Cow – The Long Con

so cowRating: ★★★½☆

We’ve posted a bit lately on Irish act, So Cow, but in case you missed those blurbs, and still haven’t heard of this group, here’s the scoop. They started out back in 2005 as the solo project of front man Brian Kelly, and then evolved into a three-piece outfit that’s put out four LP’s up to date. Back in July the band signed with Goner Records to put out The Long Con, which makes for their fifth full-length record of DIY guitar and lyric-central indie rock.

They begin the album right off with their funky, off-kilter rock with a single “Barry Richardson,” which kicks in immediately with electric guitar that squalls and around the vocals and drums. This, along with the vocals from Kelly gives out a very meandering-post-punk vibe, but then the song manifests itself into a different animal for the chorus. Here, we see a switch to the straightforward chorus as the group joins him to repeat the title characters name. This switch is interesting because it creates a fairly large distinction between the off-kilter opening to the song and the more direct and harsh sound of the chorus. So Cow traverses this fine line for the majority of the album, constantly switching between the quirky and straightforward.

Another track that really draws on this concept is “Guess Who’s Dead,” which has a drum beat that’s all serious business, while the guitar juts out at angles at the end of lines to begin. Again, the chorus gives out a more direct notion of indie-post-punk with the grit of a tinge of metal on the guitar. All the while, Kelly’s lyrics are the very opposite of serious, discussing the going-ons of people around town; the balance here is what’s so intriguing about the sound that So Cow is all about.

My biggest qualm, albeit still fairly small, with The Long Con is that it seems to stretch on just a few songs too long. If you look at each individual song, track-by-track, you can see that this band really pulls off some interesting takes on indie-rock via their style, but it is difficult for a collection as long as this to hold your steady attention for the duration of a forty five minute long album. The last song kind of fizzles out when it comes to the energy of the record, leaving you on a slightly flat note; it makes you question the organization of the album and the incorporation of some of the tracks.

That being said, The Long Con, minus a few minutes, is a quirky and enticing album. Fans of the band will enjoy the twang of not only the lyricism that Kelly brings to the table, but also of the more direct pieces of rock-n-roll.

 

 

Sorry I Missed It: New So Cow Single

socoI can’t wait for the new LP from So Cow, so I’m sorry that in my slew of madness I missed the latest single from the Irish act.  It was all over the net last week, illustrating a calmer sign of the band.  While the song’s not rushing through with the band’s typical brash attitude, it’s nice to see them tossing some new spins on their style for their forthcoming LP, The Long Con.  You’ll be able to hear the entire LP this September via Goner Records; it sounds like it might just be the record that brings them hordes of fans.  If not, at least I’ll have another bad ass record from the band to add to my collection.

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So Cow Sign with Goner Recrods

cowsI’m so stoked for the Irish lads in So Cow; I’ve been listening to the group for several years, and they never seemed to quite make headway in the US…until news came yesterday that they’d signed with Goner Records.  Their new single has this jerky guitar line that moves in and out of the tune, pumping the distortion during the chorus.  They’ve always been catchy, but they walk this fine line of power-pop cum garage rock; it’s all illustrated in this single.  Their album, The Long Con, will be released on September 16th, but if you’re liking what you hear, check out Meaningless Friendly, my personal favorite.

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New Rocker from Squarehead

Ah, the Irish are making their way!  When I first heard about this new song from Squarehead I immediately jumped out of my chair.  I’ve been jamming to these guys for a long time; I’ve also been jamming to So Cow for forever.  Why does this matter? The two have teamed up to make a ten song split LP titled Out of Season–it comes out on November 13th via Inflated Records.  The Squarehead track is definitely the heavier the two, as that’s just their style, but assure you that the record will have some more melodic moments from So Cow. Either way, all ten tracks are pretty much guaranteed to be kick ass, so get ready.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/06-More-Quickly.mp3]

Download:Squarehead – More Quickly [MP3]