One of the great thing about living in Austin is the abundance of bands trading friends and members to begin new projects, such as Lung Letters. The band takes members from acts like A Giant Dog and Flesh Lights, both whom we adore. As you’d expect, there’s a heavy handed rock n’ roll at work here, with Jeremy Steen handling the band’s vocal ferocity. If you’ve managed to catch the act live, then you’re already on board, but for those who haven’t, this track does a pretty good job of capturing the group’s energy on recor; there’s an animalistic quality not many can claim as their own. I’m particularly enjoying the moment between 1.45 and 2.30, bringing in some sly little hooks (reminds me of late 90s post-hardcore) before erupting into finale. Look for the Passing Days EP this Friday via Super Secret Records.
Pretty sure that everyone in Austin is just out to kick a whole lot of ass this year; it seems we’ve got one great release after another, and you can add Suspirians to that list. Stuttering guitars ring loudly from the get go, as drums pound and the song takes off; it spins in a heavy space direction before the vocals begin to spin around in the mix. The group plays around with some noise, and even the volume levels, always returning to full force. It’s a trashing take-no-prisoners jam, leading one to expect that Ti Bon Ange is going to be yet another top notch hit for the local scene here; it hits in June via Super Secret Records.
After releasing My Life in Steel and Concrete last year, Quin Galavis isback again with a brand new album, though this time with a little bit more of a familiar sound. The song opens up with some careful chord work, as Quin seemingly whispers into the microphone. He seems calm and ready to take on a return to rock n’ roll; this is precisely what he does as he sings “I’ll forget the answer/to the final question” stretching his voice to its higher tones. Even for fans of his former band, The Dead Space, this seems like Quin at his most accessible, surely ready to endear him to a huge group of new listeners (or so I hope). TheBattery Line will be released by Super Secret Records on June 16th.
We raved, or I did, about My Life in Steel and Concrete, the last LP from Austin’s Quin Galavis. One of the great things about that release is that it showed Quin covering some new territory, while still sounding wholly, well, Quin. It looks like this will continue on his forthcoming, The Battery Line. His voice has often gone overlooked in his work, but he’s got perfect control of it throughout this track, touching high notes with just a hint of a passionate quiver. While I love when Galavis goes loud, his soft underbelly of late is pretty stunning. The new release comes this May via Super Secret Records.
You’re a mere four days away from the release of Microwave Dreams, the newest release from John Wesley Coleman. Having been fortunate enough to listen to the record a few times before it hits the streets, I can honestly say that it holds some of the best songs JWC has written to date (and that’s a whole lotta songs!). The song has a pretty simple message, seemingly a coming of age tune with the acceptance of adulthood. It’s a message further emphasized by the accompanying video, which has Mr. Coleman out on a family adventure here in Austin; the video is endearing, which hints at some of the themes running through the new LP. You can grab that LP from Super Secret Recordsthis Friday!
McAllen’s New Berlin are quickly making a name for themselves, with a handful of singles and tapes released over the last few years. They’ve finally gotten Basic Function out into the world, and this video should give those of you unfamiliar with the group the perfect taste of what they’re all about. The video’s a performance video, with the band quickly rocking out in a sterile garage environment, but don’t let that fool you, as they’re brandishing a heavier brand of rock. Bass lines bubble darkly beneath the guitars, backed by a near anthemic vocal, hooking the listener while the band hits hard. Grab the new LP from Super Secret Records right now!
Just before the year closed, Western Homes released a great self-titled EP (you can buy it right HERE), and now there’s a brand new video to go with the track “Mind the Gap.” The track itself is a pretty bare bones affair, mostly consisting of vocals and guitar work, but it’s the unique quality of the vocals that always attracts me…it’s part guttural punk rock and part balladeer. In the video we find Westy in a contemplative mode, set against various local backdrops and bedroom shots. It’s a great way to get into Western Homes, and a great way to get into the catalog of Super Secret Records…who are having a showcase tonight at Beerland with Quin Galavis, New Berlin, Nick Allison and, of course, Western Homes!
As we push forward towards 2017, we’re all thinking of highly anticipated releases. One on my personal list, and that of most in-the-know Austinites, is John Wesley Coleman‘s Microwave Dreams. As he’s written more and more, he’s elevated his sound and songwriting far above what was possibly unfairly deemed as “trashcan troubadour.” He’s the songwriter you can take to your square friends, and thrill your hip friends at the same time. Read more
As year-end lists get more and more arbitrary, I decided I didn’t really want to play that game with our local Austin scene. Instead, I wanted to celebrate the excellent year Austin had, musically speaking, and encourage you to go grab copies of the things that suit your fancy. As it gets harder and harder for our musicians and labels to survive, lip service, sadly, just doesn’t cut it. So why not pick up something for all those you love…or just wish had better tastes!
Another year, and it looks like we’ll get another LP from John Wesley Coleman. I think that means we’ve got at least one great thing coming out of next year, and this song exemplifies just why JWC is so beloved here in Austin. I think, if I’m to go out on a limb, this might be the best I’ve heard from Wes; he sounds refined, yet still has that devil-may-care attitude that’s kept him so endearing. His new album, Microwave Dreams, hits on January 27th via Super Secret Records. Damn this song is good.