It’s 2009, and here at Austin Town Hall we are looking to help promote the Austin scene, and thus comes our new segment on Austin Artists to Watch. Our first little blurb comes after catching this band, The Great Nostalgic, at Emo’s Friday night during Free Week. Follow the jump for full story and free tuneage.
The majority of the world might not recognize the name of Sebastien Grainger, but most of you know who he is, and I’m sure some of you saw him play. Grainger is the former drummer for Death From Above 1979, that dueling barrage of blips and banging that burst onto the scene a few years back. Dude’s on his own now; the question is can he deliver like he used to do when he stood atop his stool breaking our ears and his drums?
Upon first listen, you will immediately discover that Sebastien has long ago departed from the intensity he once carried into our bedrooms. “Love Can Be So Mean,” the opening track, is about as deliberate a step into the pop spectrum of things we could expect him to go; he goes there unexpectedly, but he still brings a punch or two with him.
For some you might hear a touch of his past in a good amount of these songs, as the guitars usually carry a large amount of fuzz with them, much like that horse we’re beating into the ground. Another similarity in transitions is the vocal quality built into these songs; the vocals never sound very clear, coming off muddled in the mix. It’s not horrible, especially since he attaches a lot more melody this go round, but you can still see the shadow of his past looming just over his shoulder.
“I’m All Rage Live 05” is Sebastien doing Wolf Parade, which is okay since they both hail from north of the border, but the most disheartening thing about this song is that Sebastien holds back during the chorus; he has every opportunity to let loose like we know he can, but he holds back instead. It gives a less angst-ridden approach to the song, but most would love to see him belt it out. And it’s clear he has plenty of angst to let out, as evidenced by songs such as “I Hate My Friends.”
There are steps in all sorts of directions here, which makes this album a little unfocused. There are some allusions to 80s power ballads mixed with shadows from his past wrapped around various other late-nineties influences (see Saddle Creek Records, the label releasing this album). You’ll even find more direct approaches to ballads and harmonies, but you won’t find focus. When he’s on, the record has amazing moments worth playing again and again; when he’s not, you just hope he can rein it all in for the next go round. Really, you just want him to let loose completely. A record without the evident inhibtions from this record could just prove brilliant.
Have a listen to latest single “By Cover of Night” below:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/03-by-cover-of-night-fire-fight.mp3]
Download: Sebastian Grangier – By Cover of Night [MP3]
Dim the lights. Shadows form on stage. Crowd screams. The sharp slam of a snare drum beats down signaling the beginning of “You are a Runner and I am my Father’s Son”. Wolf Parade has just entered the building. Sit back and enjoy the spectacle. So marked the beginning of a masterful show by Wolf Parade on Friday night at La Zona Rosa in Austin. Read more
Our Canadian friends Wolf Parade will be bringing their rock to La Zona Rosa in Austin on Friday night. The show is set to kick off at 9pm and you can get your tickets now for only $20 bucks. ATH will be on hand covering the event with pictures and a full show review a couple days after the show. Read more about Wolf Parade on their myspace page and preview the track “Call it a Ritual” off their 2008 release At Mount Zoomer below:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/02-call-it-a-ritual.mp3]
Have you ever met someone that you just knew right away was perfect for you? Me either. Have you ever met someone and realized they were hot enough for you to overlook the fact that you have nothing in common? Ahhh the timeless dance of love…
From the minute Apologies to the Queen Mary came out a few years back I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new Wolf Parade album. I loved that record so much so that I bought everything released by all the members of the band. But, it seems as if all those side-projects sucked the life out of the band.
“Soldier’s Grin” starts out the record promisingly. It’s an upbeat song from the get-go; the kind of song that we know the band will blow you away in the live setting–and they will blow you away live–I hope.
From here, you get the best two songs on the album in succession, those being “Call it a Ritual” and “Language City.” Both songs are full of keyboards/piano bouncing heavily along, with just enough grit and clarity in the music to make them both exceptional songs. It’s at this point in the album that we find Wolf Parade at their best, with Spencer Krug yelping at his best.
From here it starts to gently slide away in the wrong direction. I’ll admit this: the chorus on the 5th track,”California Dreamer,” is really a rocking moment–once again I salivate at live possibilities–but the rest of the song doesn’t have much to it. Then you have the final good moment of the album,”The Grey Estates.” Something about Dan Boeckner’s voice is one of my favorites.
That’s it though…the remaining three tracks of the album seem to me as if the band lost some steam. The songs don’t seem to be as fleshed out musically as the previous 6, and they come off sounding like skeletons of mediocre songs, or B-sides of one of the various side-projects.
My other complaint is that the vocals have matured. They’ve lost that oddity in their vocals, which-personally-takes a lot of the really interesting moments away from the band. These fellows come off sounding half-hearted, but like I said, this is only apparent in the last three songs.
All in all, this is a record worth listening to, but I’m just not sure how many repeated listens those first few songs really garner when paired with the latter half of the album.
Rest assured, the band will bring the rock when they come to La Zona Rosa on July 25th–this is a must see. You can buy tickets for the show at this fancy place .
Our crazy bothers from the northern side of the border Wolf Parade are streaming their new album At Mount Zoomer on my favorite social network website. The much anticipated follow-up to 2005’s Apologies to Queen Mary doesn’t hit stores until next week so why not try before you buy? Give it a listen and tell us what you think. Also, Wolf Parade will be blowing through Austin later this summer on July 25th at LaZonaRosa. Purchase your tickets for the show before it sells out! If you just can’t deal with the madness that is myspace, check out the song “Language City” below:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/languagecity1.mp3]
Download: Wolf Parade – Language City [MP3]