We’re almost one month into 2014, and already the music world is really jumping full ahead, especially here in Austin. Seeing as this is our home base, we wanted those of you in town to check out the great release shows this weekend, and those of you who live afar can just simply check out the great music our city is rocking. Here’s a few great shows where the first band in each line is releasing either an album or an EP.
Abram Shook, Good Field and Royal Forest @ Mohawk @ 9 PM
Black and White Years, White Walls, Isaiah the Mosaic @ Parish @ 8 PM
The Boxing Lesson, Blackstone Rangers, Baker Family, Yum @ Mohawk @ 9 PM
Growl, The Laughing, Milezo, Young Mammals @ Holy Mountain @ 9 PM
Great weekend of rock n’ roll. Great weekend for four releases in 2 days!
||Friday, November 22nd
||$14 from Transmission
You’ll find a ton of shows in town on Friday, including the hipster-approved Miley Cyrus, I mean CHVRCHES, but here’s a show for those who are looking for something a little far left of the dial. Canada’s Besnard Lakes are the headliners on the night, offering up their blend of indie meets psych meets folk meets jam. Then you’ll have the band that I think cold steal the show, Elephant Stone. They’re another Canadian act that have been on my list of reliable group’s for some time now; you should check out their most recent self-titled album. And, as an added bonus, you get local opener, The Boxing Lesson. So, if you’re not going to Cass McCombs, and you don’t like Miley Cyrus, then this is definitely going to be a good place to find yourself Friday night.
Download: The Besnard Lakes – People of the Sticks [MP3]
For influences, local Austin band The Boxing Lesson could do much worse: the songs off Wild Streaks & Windy Days reveal an appreciation for the hypnotic swirl of The Secret Machines (“Lower,” “Muerta,”), the pop-prog-trips of MuteMath (“Timing,” “Dance with Meow,) and the grandiosity of Muse (“Dark Side of the Moog,” “Scoundrel”). And like these bands, and Minus the Bear, another group with nonsensical song titles, The Boxing Lesson attempt to synthesize these influences into something greater and original.
What The Boxing Lesson is lacking is not simply talent, restraint, or any lyrical insight at all – although throwaway songs like “Hopscotch & Sodapop” and “Freedom” would suggest they’re missing those too. Their most notable problem is they have no direction. With songs like “Scoundrel” and the title track lasting nearly seven minutes but offering no payoff, no climactic build, The Boxing Lesson aren’t giving us more, they’re making us wait longer for less.
Encompassing Pink Floyd synth washes provide pleasing backdrops for clean guitar lines on nearly every song, but when it takes more than two-and-a-half minutes to get to the opening verse of the title track, only to have it rip off the music and lyrics from the title track of The Secret Machines’ “The Road Leads Where It’s Lead” – albeit slower and with less passion and intent – you can’t help but feel cheated. The Boxing Lesson seem to have their hearts and ears in the right place, but singer Paul Waclawsky’s lyrics go nowhere, and without something to set his voice apart – aggression, passion, any feeling – the album ends up getting carried away, lost in the large-scale but rootless sweeping effect they created.
Read more about The Boxing Lesson and hear songs from the new album on the bands myspace page.
The darkness of A Place to Bury Strangers will soon descend upon the city lights of Austin, or at least the lights of Emos Alternative Lounge. These sonic destroyers visit our town Sunday evening, taking a step away from their tour with Nine Inch Nails. Expect to be wowed, and expect to lose your hearing. Also of note…Austin’s Boxing Lesson will be one of the opening acts. So make your way to Emos this Sunday night!
Click here to pick yourself up a set of tickets.