Obviously Tiger Waves are one of our favorite acts, and as they continue to work together, they become increasingly better. We’re going to help the band by putting out their next album, which is still being recorded, but they’ve passed along this great new song; I’m practically ready to put this record out already. You’ll find that the vocals are vibrant, yet just a bit quiet in the mix; it’s one of the things I really enjoy about the group’s recordings. I’m not going to spend time trying to compare them to anyone else, as they’ve gone to eclipse obvious influences by creating a sound entirely their own. We’ll keep you posted as more details unfold about the group’s next record, but for now, enjoy “Weekends.”
Download:Tiger Waves – Weekends [MP3]
It’s been quite a while since locals Whitman put out their debut album, Torch Songs. Since then their style hasn’t really changed too much; they’ve maintained a classic alternative sound while not getting too serious. Weekends is no exception to this style, delivering quality tunes that fall easy on the ears.
The album creeps out slowly, with Ram Vela’s vocals whispering through layers of echoes and atmospheric sounds on “Technicolor Blues.” It’s as though the band is feeling its way into your ears, analyzing the space that they are going to fill before they really kick into things. This kicks comes in the last forty or so seconds before the first song has met its completion. At this point, it’s clear that Whitman has woken up, and continues to pick up the pace on the second song, “NW Thurman.” Jumping right into things, Vela’s Ted Leo-esque raspy chords leads you right along, bounding atop bouncing piano and some “Ooh la la’s” in the background. Immediately on this track, there is that ‘good times’ mentality that this band perfects. It’s the perfect kind of song to bob your head easily along to and perhaps dance a little if you’re feeling up to it—it doesn’t demand anything.
This easy rock-n-roll continues through the duration of the album, exploring highs and lows, crazy times and falling-outs. “Barstools” comes across as a bitter recollection of a friendship gone astray. As Vela sings honestly that he would “rather be falling off barstools than hanging with you,” the electric guitar growls, the cymbals crash violently, and some synth all rage along with him, and it feels as though the song consists entirely for the purpose of driving this hated friend away, making sure he knows he isn’t welcome anymore. Later on, Whitman slows things down a bit on “Manchester-By-The-Sea,” whose soft nature serves as a nice little meander from the consistent full-tilt pace. This song relies on a gentler strumming of acoustic guitar and instrumentals that stray from the buzz of before and we see a more delicate Whitman. The album finishes up with “Day Drink Part 1” and “Day Drink Part 2” which brings things back up before it reaches its conclusion.
Weekends is exactly what its name entails: relaxation. There simply isn’t a song on here that requires more than a good attitude to enjoy. With the weather warming up around here, count on this album to be perfect for blasting out of your open car windows.
Not too long ago, some of our amigos in Austin concluded that they were fed up with the current state of the music industry and decided to start a record label to call their own. From their collective minds came promising new record label Sonora Records with the plan to “help make music, one record at a time”. To celebrate their beginnings, the guys at Sonora have put together an 18 song sampler featuring some of their talent along with a few tunes from Austin’s finest up and coming artists. ATH favorites, The Bubbles, Quiet Company, and Guns of Navarone make an appearance with new faces like The Couch, On After Dark, and The Handshake sharing new music.
Also making an appearance on the sampler are old friends Whitman, who are premiering new song “NW Thurman” from their upcoming 2011 LP Weekends. If this new summertime jam from the Austin boys doesn’t get you moving, then you must not have a pulse. Whitman have also made new anthem like tune “Dead Dog Days” available for free download over on their bandcamp page for a limited time. You can also say hi to Sonora Records on twitter or download their new sampler over on bandcamp.
Download: Whitman – NW Thurman [MP3]