Pop Rocker from White Reaper

whiteyIt looks like Polyvinyl is trying to corner the market on upbeat pop music, especially now that they’ve agreed to release the new EP from White Reaper.  The band seemingly operate at a furious rock pace, but there’s still these elements of hooks via the electronic touches and then the final breakdown of the song, illustrating that the band’s more than just a one-trick-pony.  It’s the perfect track to get your energy up as you near the end of your work day, or any day for that matter.  Their EP will be released on June 24th, so stay tuned.

The Library Is On Fire Offer Steady Post-Rock

libraryI’ve been spending a lot of time today listening to this new release from The Library Is On Fire, and I’ll be honest, I don’t quite know what to say to make you realize what an enjoyable record it is.  There are parts of the album that are a little bit heavier and faster paced, but on the single below, the band seem to really work around this steady speed; it’s almost too slow, but not quite.  There’s a lot of different flavors to be had throughout the listen, so you should look forward to hearing the entirety of Halcyon and Surrounding Areas when its digitally released next week.

New Single from Total Control

tcIf people weren’t aware of what Total Control were doing, then they’re going to surely take notice after listening to this brand new single.  The project of Mikey from ECSR is known for providing this dark minimal electronica, spliced with elements of heavier pieces, but here it’s a pretty straight-forward pop hit from the Aussies. If you’re looking for the catchiest moments, you need look no further than the way the chorus is delivered.  My favorite thing about the band? You never know what you’re going to get on their releases, but you know it’s always good. They have a new album titled Typical System that will see an early summer release on June 24th via Iron Lung Records.

Tweens – s/t

tweens_albumcover.134023

Rating: ★★★ · ·

The official arrival of Tweens comes with a lot of fanfare, namely the endorsement of Kim Deal (Breeders/Pixies).  But, can a young band live up to those lofty expectations? Can they fill your ears with tunes that are as undeniably memorable as “Cannonball?”  On their self-titled effort, there’s room for improvement, but overall, you get the feeling that the young three-piece are on to something.

When Tweens kick things off, you can tell that they’re intent upon bringing raucous noise with just a little bit of brattiness to the table.  Bridget Battle immediately takes center stage on “Bored With This City,” belting out vocals, with the occasional hiccup to add a wee bit of sugar to the track.  And, while that song pushes forth rather quickly, “McMicken,” the following tune, is just as fast, although there’s that effortless layer of cool layered in, making the tune worthy of repeated listens.

Still, with the opening tunes on Tweens winning you over, there has to be a breather, which is why the vocal display from Battle on the next track “Be Mean” offers up a slightly different look into the band’s sound.  She discards that bratty sexpot attitude, taking on a stronger role as a powerful front woman.  This is the first track where I really felt like her vocals stood out from the meat of the song.  It’s an approach I personally feel she should take more often, as it makes that song successful, much like it does with”Don’t WaitUp” and  “Forever.”  The latter tune is possibly the standout song on the record.  Musically, the band seems to have calmed down a bit, allowing for BB to win over fans with her ability to control her pipes at various pitches.  I suppose this song appeals to me because it offers that different glimpse inside of the band, as other songs seem to bleed into each other too often.

After spending several days with the album, I can definitely see where the excitement comes from.  The songs are filled with hooks, and it’s hard to deny Bridget’s dynamism as a front woman.  That being said, there are a few songs that trip over each other, and only the smart choice of slipping in some slower tunes saves the record from being a one-note venture. They salvage that, however, with the inclusion of things like “Stoner” and “Forever,” making it clear that their future might hold more than meets the eye.  Tweens are rising stars in the music community, but only time will tell just how far that star can go.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/03-Be-Mean.mp3]

New Music from Gambles

sissyI was beginning to think that something had gone wrong for Matthew Siskin, as I hadn’t heard a new tune from the prolific songwriter, who operates as Gambles, in several months.  But, today, a new song came our way, showing a different side of Siskin.  This song is focused around more of a processed beat, rather than his traditional guitar work.  It’s a new approach, but his voice and lyrics are as strong as they’ve ever been…one of the many reasons I love his work.  I appreciate a fresh approach, but I’ll reserve final judgment until we hear I Can’t Keep Still When It Comes to You, his new album that hits on April 28th.

Power Pop Gem from Cheap Girls

cheapSeems like everyone’s collaborating these days, but with Cheap Girls working with Craig from the Hold Steady, it just seems to fit perfectly.  They both have this traditional American rock sound; there’s not a lot of pretension or excess to what they’re writing.  Here we have the band just doing their best to bang out a solid rock tune that will be featured on their new record, Famous Graves, and it encompasses a pretty straightforward rock song.  It’s the sort of tune you want to sing with, yet it’s bold enough that it also makes you want to rock just enough. You can let yourself enjoy this record on May 13th via Xtra Mile Recordings.

New Music from The Hive Dwellers

klp249_12in Jacket Template [Converted]Make no mistake about it, there are still people out there who are madly in love with the work that Calvin Johnson has done; I remain one of those steady die-hard fans.  Today I’m brining you the new single from his up-coming album with The Hive Dwellers; it’s titled Moanin.  Of course, the heart and soul of the song resides on Johnson’s voice, backed with a fitting female backing voice.  For my two cents, I think the witticisms and simplicity of Calvin’s work has always been endearing, and you’ll find that on display here in this track, as well as throughout the rest of the album.  You can get your copy on April 29th via K Records. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/TheHiveDwellers_Moanin_KLP249_01_BabyBeMine.mp3]

 

New Single from The Felice Brothers

feliceI love listening to The Felice Brothers.  They always seem to walk this weird line between folk and jam, though they dwell a bit more in the folk/Americana realm…that makes it okay, right? The band have releases this new single for their forthcoming album, Favorite Waitress, and I’m going to put this one on repeat for a bit.  The song feels as if it’s been recorded in a small cabin by a bunch of old friends, which is probably true a certain extent, so there’s an expressed level of honesty that we should all appreciate. You can grab the new record on June 17th via Dualtone.

New Music from Michael O (of Mantles fame)

michaelo Clearly I love what the Mantles have accomplished.  They’ve got these concise little pop songs, with just a hint of that old school jangle, so it makes sense that when I heard about Michael Olivares releasing his own Face the Facts EP that I had to hip you to it.   It’s a different side to Michael than his main project, with a much simpler approach to writing pop songs; this tune below is mostly a strummed guitar with a little key treatment thrown in for good measure.  You can pick up the very limited 7″ from Fruits and Flowers, if you’re so inclined; the B Side has a Scorpions cover!

Smooth Listening from Childhood

childhoodI felt like Monday was a really slow day for new music news, but luckily this dreamy track from Childhood made it into my inbox.  The construction of the song is in line with a lot of the music coming out right now, carefully crafting this swelling pop song that rises and falls all over the place.  Me? I’m just in love with the way that the vocals come across.  They’re delivered almost effortlessly, allowing with this gentle affectation that really soothes the listener.  This song is the first listen from their much anticipated debut album, which should arrive at some point during the summertime.

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