The punk history books always look towards the Ramones or The Clash, but the one group I always gravitated towards was Wire. Sure, Joe Strummer brought in some Jamaican influences, but I always felt that Wire were the one group that really pushed the boundaries. 30 years and more later, they’re still crafting music we can find vital to our daily listening lives. This new single has the band working with their anxious angular guitar cuts, but the vocals provide a softness that offers the song a strength that very few, if any, bands can master. It’s a tune from their forthcoming self-titled album, which is slated for a April 13th release…and just another reason why music nerds will look to the band as one of the best constants in history.
There’s a spot in my music rotation for music that’s got a beatastic drive to it, yet wrapped tightly around an operatic voice. For a long while, that spot was held for Patrick Wolf, but it looks like Wolf Colony is going to try and take up those reins quite soon. He’s structured his latest single with dominant beats, albeit infectious ones, and then that voice just soars throughout the track. It might not be my everyday fare, but I’m definitely feeling it today. If it’s your bag, then look for his debut, Unmasked, on March 3rd.
Sorta was feeling the folk stylings this week, so I wanted to make sure you had a nice dosage of rock n’ roll before the week came to an end. I’ve really been jamming to this Dead Farmers LP, Wasteland as of late. They’ve got these really emphatic chord structures and this boisterous blast of vocals that seems more like a call to arms than anything else. It makes for an adrenaline filled sing-a-long, making the band one to keep on your radar as 2015 moves forward. The LP is available from the trustworthy RIP Society, bringing you rock n’ roll from Oceania and beyond.
If you didn’t catch the last release from Guantanamo Baywatch, then go hit up Dirtnap Records and see if they have any copies of Chest Crawl laying around. The odds are that they don’t, which is probably why the band’s been snatched up by Suicide Squeeze for their new album, Darling It’s Too Late. The band has always had a knack for building unity between punk and surf, but here they really spin it into an old school pop rock sound, the likes that had your parents (or my old folks) creating babies. It’s passionate and soulful (thanks to some help from Curtis Harding), yet it’s oh so gritty and real. Look for the record to hit stores on May 12th.
You want more from Grave Pool? As do I, as do I. The artist is crafting really solid electro-pop, hitting you heavy with really great beats; it’s the kind of electronic burst that has you jumping all over your brand new couch cushions, swinging your arms and smiling all the while. Personally, I like the hazy element on the vocals; it provides a more personal touch than the average fare, making the track great for the dance floor, but also for your headphone listening experience. It’s the second single from his new album, Mnemonics, which is slated for a release next Tuesday via 80s Ladies Records.
I haven’t heard from Total Babes since Swimming Through Sunlight, but I’m glad they’re back at it with a new LP ready to hit stores. I’ll admit, the bits of horn throw me off a touch; I mean, is that a bee buzzing in my ear? Regardless, the song’s got this catchy tenacity hooked around the stop-start vocal delivery. The guitars do have a jagged edge, and the horns begin to show themselves as an instrument meant to create something beyond your typical garage tune (laser sounds included). Look for their new effort, Heydays, to hit stores on May 19th via Wichita Recordings.
I said it. I’m stealing a nod from an old friend who always called Hayden the “Canadian Beck.” It seems with his new work, that the Grammy is going to have to be passed along to Canada. Surprisingly, Hayden’s career has worked in a similar arc, hopping back and forth between genres, but always achieving huge accolades when he takes the folk-laden ballad approach. It’s also a track that takes a careful ear; you can hear the static of a guitar being pulled from the amp (or something similar) in the middle…it matches well with the bending guitar too. Look for Hey Love to appear via Arts & Crafts on March 24th.
I love a good batch of enthusiastic punk rock tunes, especially when they come with a bit of rambunctious attitude, and possibly a bit of lo-fi recording value. Martha have been on my radar for some time, after releasing Courting Strong via Fortuna Pop. So, they’ve now got this great little 10″ EP coming out, even though the tunes are a few years old. The self-titled EP is getting a vinyl release courtesy of Brighton’s Tuff Enuff Records, and those of you who are into the rock n’ roll are definitely going to enjoy it. You can stream the whole EP below and grab the EP HERE.
Ben Verdoes has been a prolific force in the Pacific Northwest, be it on his own or with Mt. St Helens Vietnam Band. Today he released this great ballad, but it’s a song laced with the difficult racial climate facing the current United States. He wrote the track after the Ferguson news broke, writing the song of the indifference many often take to the plight of the African-American citizen. Out of sight, out of mind, right? It’s a tragically alarming situation, but one I witness everyday here in Texas…even in the “liberal” capital of the State. Anyways, it struck a note with me, so I wanted to share it. It’s got this video accompanying it too; check that HERE.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/benverdoes.mp3]
I sure hope it’s Lord Huron! Okay, it is, but I feel like ever since I was turned onto the band, I’ve heard far less than I really wanted to hear…I guess not everyone writes at Ty Segall speed. The LA group has always had this organic spirit, pulling in various resources to complete their sound, rounding out the folk backbone of the song into exuberant bits of well-constructed pop tunes. The group has just announced that they’ll be releasing their new effort, Strange Trails, on April 7th via IAMSOUND Records. I’m excited for this; I always enjoy the work they complete. Look for them on tour this Spring, including a Stubbs spot here in Austin.