Show Preview: The Drums @ The ND (9/25)

Date 9/25/10
Location The ND
Doors 9pm
Tickets $12 @ Frontgate

So one of the more hyped bands in the indie world today The Drums are finally making their highly anticipated stop into Austin at The ND on Saturday night.  Joining the surfing good time boys are Young Friends straight out of Phoenix.  While your at it, check out our review of the Drums self-titled album that dropped this summer.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/02-lets-go-surfing.mp3]

Download: The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing [MP3]

New Tunes from Restless People

I first heard about Restless People because I’ve been following the spin-offs of Professor Murder, mostly because my old lady really digs that band.  The band released a single today, “Don’t Back Down,” (via P4K).  While it does have a whole lot of electronic touches, which I’m trying to ween myself off of this year, you can still find some knifing vocals, a la the Drums, but with a little less surf to them.  Okay, so its sort of just a trendy little dance number, but damn if it ain’t catchy.  You’ll find it on the band’s self-titled debut, which hits the streets on September 14th.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Restless-People-Dont-Back-Down.mp3]

Download: Restless People – Don’t Back Down [MP3]

New Tunes from Two Wounded Birds

Here’s a band you might dig if you’re into the whole surf-pop array of the music world.  Two Wounded Birds hail from the UK, and they’re currently backing The Drums on tour, but don’t let that mislead you in any way, as their sound isn’t quite like that.  It’s got a real beach feel, but with a silky croon over it, that for some reason reminds me of Twin Peaks.  I don’t know though, that’s just me; you be the judge of this track.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/01-My-Lonesome.mp3]

Download: Two Wounded Birds – My Lonesome

The Drums – s/t

Rating: ★★★★ ·

The Drums have been on everyone’s radar for a little under a year now, but their star has continued to shine all the way up to the release of their self-titled album.  Their combination of surf guitar hooks and 80s electronic beats is destined to make this record the smash of the summer.  It might possibly be too sweet, but this is the kind of fun we should all have as we sit in our kiddie pools drinking beers with our friends this summer.

Opening with “Best Friend” you’ll find that bouncing groove of the bass moving you right into your first dance movement of the album.  Jonathan Pierce’s hip little croon will keep you swaying, just as it should.  It’s possible that this might not be the most artistic work, but there’s no denying that from the moment The Drums begins, it’s catchy as all get out.

First single from the group “Let’s Go Surfing” was one of our favorite Songs of 09, and it still has the same charm it did when we first heard it. Beach guitar sounds fused with whistling and a charming lyrics make it hard to ignore this song, and no matter how long you listen to it, it still has the kick you ask for in a great single.  Then you come into the beneficial “Book of Stories.”  While it retains the same surf-dance sensibility of early tracks, it definitely slows things down, turning the album in a different direction.  It’s pleasing to see such a variance here, as too much straight lo-fi pop might have put listeners in a sugar coma.  Similarly “Down by the Water” does the same thing, just a few songs later.  It provides a nice contradiction to the infectious pop moments, and Pierce’s voice rises high in the most charming way possible.  Personally, it gives The Drums more in common with bands like The Church rather than the surf version of New Order or The Smiths.

“Forever and Ever Amen” is accompanied by a killer video, and the swirling melody within this sound, despite a redundant bass line, really makes you swing your arms in pure ecstasy.  As the chorus goes “forever, baby its forever,” you feel as if you’re being sucked into some perfect John Hughes montage.  In fact, you can see the Breakfast Club dancing about the library here, at least in my mind, which is perfectly fitting.  It’s a reminder that the album is filled with a certain sense of innocence and frivolity that, when done in good taste, reaps marvelous rewards for listener and songwriter alike.

Time will surely tell how important The Drums self-titled debut actually is.  But, one thing is for sure right now: their intelligent pop tactics combining summer sounds with electronics is the perfect music for kicking off summer in the right way. This album is full of melody, hooks and just simple fun, and while that might not always be my cup of tea, it surely seems to be working with this record.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/02-lets-go-surfing.mp3]

Download: The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing [MP3]

More New Tunes from The Drums

Let’s face it, I’ve been all about The Drums ever since I discovered their beach-pop jangle “Let’s Go Surfing,” but we’re nearing the time for the release of their debut self-titled album.  Recent days have posted a clever video with the great track “Forever & Ever Amen,” which led me to go to the band’s site where they were offering the song we’re offering today.  Honestly, I really like the song, if not for the very fact that it’s not nearly as jangly and bouncy as their previous work, which means their debut could be all over the map. Personally, I think that means we can expect great things from the band this June.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/08-It-Will-All-End-In-Tears-1.mp3]

Download: The Drums – It Will All End In Tears [MP3]

Surfer Blood – Astrocoast

surfer blood

Rating: ★★★★½

Over the last year, people have been suggesting that Surfer Blood might be the biggest band we hadn’t come across, leaving the band in the spot for breakthrough artist of 2010.  On Astrocoast, they live up to the hype, and in most cases, they far surpass what expectations we all had, creating one of the most colorful, yet playful, debuts we’ve come across in quite some time.

One would be hard pressed to pigeonhole this band at all, as they seemingly bounce from one spot to another throughout this 10 song debut.  For this listener, it sounds as if someone is channeling a Floridian soulmate of James Mercer of Shins fame.  There is something in the pitch in songs like “Floating Vibes” or especially in “Twin Peaks.” It’s not just the delivery of the lyrics, or the way the melody is approached, but it really feels as if the spirit of Mercer lies in there somewhere. “Twin Peaks,” by the way, is one ridiculously good song; you can listen to it on repeat, as I did, and never grow tired of it.

“Swim,” the album’s second track is such a bright moment that you can’t help but be won over by the fervent approach to bringing about swelling guitar waves and vocals that seem to echo through the room of your favorite local venue.  It’s this feeling of rawness that doesn’t seem forced, or steeped in some historical infatuation with bands of days gone by, though undoubtedly it does come from such moments.

“Take It Easy” comes like a close cousin to many of the songs of New York new wonders The Drums. Both bands have a club appeal that still seems rooted in the hallowed grounds of surf rock.  Like those New Yorkers, there is a certain vibrance to the writing itself, which moves it beyond pastiche, bringing a refreshing approach.  At this point, three songs in, the band should have completely won you over.

Near the end of the record, the boys slow it town just a hint, but the jangling of their guitars brings to mind a great deal of the work that came out of the Flying Nun label of New Zealand.  Perhaps the band is unaware of this, but that’s a sure-fire way to get straight into my heart, which allows me to look beyond the fact that the two 6 minute jams at the end, “Slow Jabroni” and “Anchorage” lag a little bit as far as pace goes.  Using time, these songs unfold into powerful pieces all their own.

All in all, this a sparkling debut from a band we know little about.  It’s full of playful tunes, whimsical lyrics, and load upon load of melodic hooks driving straight for your ears, and your heart. It’s refreshing to hear such a solid album arise beyond the hype, and fulfill on all the promise, which is precisely what Astrocoast does.  Based on this, Surfer Blood surely will be the breakout band we all heard they would be, and its deservedly so.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/02-Swim.mp3]

Download: Surfer Blood – Swim [MP3]

New Tunes from Horse Shoes

horseSo I was stalking The Drums earlier today, and I came across another band that I think I could love equally as much, if not more so.  They sound sort of similar, but instead of that whole surf affiliation Horse Shoes are rocking an 80s club sound.  You can catch this song now off their Imperial School EP.  And if you find a better picture of this band, let me know, as there’s just about as much info on this group as there are photos.  

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/02-hey-come-back.mp3]

Download: Horse Shoes – Hey Come Back [MP3]

New Tunes from The Drums

thedrums-domsmith-photo01We’ve been loving The Drums since we got their self-titled debut EP, but now they are gearing up to release a new EP titled Summertime! The EP features three brand new tracks for those of you that had the debut, but if not, there are 6 brand spanking new songs, one being that sweet tune “Let’s Go Surfing.”  But, now we have a new number for you, this one featuring an adorable female vocal with that bouncing bass line the band utilize so well. You can get a hold of the EP at Twenty Seven Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/1-04-Dont-Be-A-Jerk-Jonny-1.mp3]

Download: The Drums – Don’t Be a Jerk Jonny

New Tunes from The Drums

drums I’m really psyched on this band The Drums right now. Of course, they come to us via New York City.  I’m not really surprised by that, but their sound doesn’t sound precisely like the rest of the bands using the wall of sound technique.  Just check out the bobbing bass line that runs throughout the song “Let’s Go Surfing” that’s down below. You can pick up this song and seven other right now off the groups self-titled EP.  They have a new Summertime EP coming our way on August 4th. Pogo…you know you wanna.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/02-lets-go-surfing.mp3]

Download: The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing [MP3]

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