Meet The Lochness Mobsters – New ATH Records Signing

IMG_1708We’re putting out a killer new record with Austin by way of Lake Charles band, The Lochness Mobsters.  I’m really stoked to put out their effort War Tuna, having been a fan of their continuously raucous live shows.  If you’re just meeting the band, let me give you a little insight into what you’re getting.  They’re a three piece act (Tay, Brooks, Mike) specializing in their own Southern blend of psychedelic surf rock with a penchant for pop sensibility.  Honestly, every time I think of the band, it reminds me of Woods, if only that act had a knack for writing shorter, catchier tunes and a willingness to get people to party.  Their debut album will be seeing a limited first run on white vinyl, which you can pre-order from us HERE; the official release date will be August 7th before the band heads out on a little East Coast tour.

Also…if you want to meet the band in person, check them out tomorrow night at Hotel Vegas with Loteria and Mitch Fraizer.  It’s cheap and it’ll be a whole lotta fun.

John Andrews & The Yawns – Bit By The Fang

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Rating: ★★★½ ·

You may know John Andrews from his work as a part of both Woods and Quilt, which he contributed not only his talents in recording, but also in touring with these two acts. Somehow, amongst the hectic schedule of being part of two bands, he has also found time to write and record an album of his own. Bit By The Fang is John Andrews and his imaginary backing band’s debut solo album, and it’s packed with lo-fi Americana.

John Andrews and the Yawns have a sound that is difficult to describe. At moments, the music seems to lean towards  bluesy rock, and the next you’re made to believe Bit By The Fang is a work dominated by jangly guitar. This mixing of genre, perhaps even in just one song, works well for Andrews, and you can hear this happening from the very start of the record with opener, “Don’t Spook The Horses.” Leading off with that grittily distorted cutting electric guitar, the song blazes in to your headphones and instantly hooks you. Joining that guitar is ragtime piano and Andrews’ feather-light vocals that waft and warble in to the mix. He spins a tale in those echoed vocals, a carnival-esque whirlwind of sound that serves as a wonderful introduction to his solo work.

The strongest parts of this album come like bookends at the beginning and the end. As I just discussed, the first track is a great start, and Andrews continues this strong start with “Peace of Mind,” which sways more to the blues side of sound. Its slow-moving rhythm and prominently groovy bass part serves as the core of the song, while that bouncy piano is still there to lighten the track. “Angel,” a brief little piano ditty, echoes that of early 20th century simplistic rag music, but its nevertheless an interesting tune after you’ve grown accustomed to the complex layers that Andrews has thrown your way so far.

While the middle of this album listens a little flat, the end picks back up again for the last few tracks. “Quitting The Circus” is a song that is at once eerie and rock’ and roll: the vocals seem extra twisted and somehow slightly sinister while the guitar hits hard and loud, almost drowning out the piano. Last track, “No Gun,” is a music box lullaby that has Andrews posing philosophical questions atop pensive piano, slow and easy.

Bit By The Fang is yet another solid release from Woodsist Records, and John Andrews has managed to put his name on my map as a solo artist. I’ll be looking forward to what the future holds for this talented musician, be it as part of another band or on his own.

 

More with John Andrew & the Yawns

jayI’ve written before about John Andrews & the Yawns, the newest project from John (who also works in Quilt and Woods).  I’m really drawn into this track, which might just come from the dreary weather, as I feel like there’s a definite Grateful Dead or Neil Young approach here (only one which I’m willing to admit I accept).  The band explores a modern folk twist, which you’d likely expect, but the twang and the drawl of the song really goes into hippy harmony territory.  Dammit. I like it. Don’t tell my friends! Look for Bit By the Fang via Woodsist on April 14th.

Another John Andrews Project???

10917910_1546390345635934_9140520222875733572_oDid you like that Quilt record last year? I did. How about anything ever done by Woods? Me too. So let’s rejoice in the fact that John Andrews has opted to create another project, John Andrews & the Yawns.  Of course, the sound, as evidenced below, will have a bit of folk and Americana, but it’s good to see John step to the forefront for a change.  I’m enjoying some of the light touches of horns and strings that fill out the track. Bit By the Fang, the band’s album, will be release by the folks at Woodsist on April 14th.

Top 50 Albums of 2014

TOP 50 ALB 14These lists are everywhere, so you’ll be excused if you just roll your eyes and skip on. But, that being said, we always seem to be way off the mark when it comes to our Top 50 Albums of the Year.  Sure, we have some of the sure fire hits on this list like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, but don’t even read on if you’re look ing to see where Run the Jewels made it…they’re not there. Sorry not sorry.  So, if you’re into arbitrary lists by people who like to push their own agenda, then this list is for you! Read more

Kevin Morby – Still Life

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Rating: ★★★★ ·

You may know Kevin Morby better through his other projects such as The Babies, or has bass work in Woods. However, Still Life is his second release for this solo development, a follow up to Harlem River, which came out last year. If you’re still only familiar with this man’s other achievements, it’s time to bust out your headphones or your speakers and have a listen to Still Life, which shows the pure talent that you already knew Morby possessed, but channeled in a raw and real form; the sincerity of this record will have you coming back to it over and over again.

The album comes to you humbly and asks you to “take [it] as you feel—” a line that comes on “Amen,” which you won’t come to until later, but this is an instance of the songwriting aptly describing the listening experience. From the moment you press play on opening “The Jester, The Tramp & The Acrobat,” you get this gentle undercurrent of a rhythm that carries you along while Morby, addressing you as a friend, opens up. The song begins to flesh itself out, transitioning from soft drums and acoustic guitar to some licking electric guitar and a change to a faster pace. Here, we get a bit of a preview as to what this album has in store for us: we get both a subtle and simple side well as the intricately crafted indie-rock-and-roll jam side, all of which is coated in a residual gravity in the songwriting.

While it’s hard to pick a favorite aspect of this record to focus on—both the instrumentation and the lyrics work together in a fantastic combination of mood—the lyrics are constantly are working at your heart, begging for you to let them in. Take any track on this record and you can find a line or two that is stunning in its nature, even removed from context. On a song by song basis, there are numbers like “Drowning” and “All Of My Life” which grip you from start to finish, tying together lines like the threads in a tapestry, leaving you simply stunned at the end product. Here is a man pouring what seems to be the contents of his soul into his craft, laying it all out for you in a sometimes delicate, sometimes rock and roll fueled context.

To put it bluntly and with a cliché, listening to this record feels a bit like falling in love; by the time I reached the ending of Still Life, I was already itching to restart and do it all over again, following Morby through the highs of the jams and especially the lows in his lyrics. It’s all good, and it’s all waiting for you to fall into its depths.

Show Review: Woods @ Holy Mountain (8/20)

IMG_2861We’re a little bit late on this show review and we apologize for that in earnest.  Today we’re excited to introduce new contributer Cameron along with his handy photographer Ruth Vasquez for a review with photos.  I think you’ll find that you like him just as much as we do.  Follow the jump for his thoughts and fancy photos.

Read more

Kevin Morby Continues His Good Run

kevkev All I need to make the Kevin Morby triumvirate of greatness complete is a new Babies record.  He’s already had a good year with a new 7″ this year and an album with his other act Woods; today he announced yet another album under his own name, featuring this great new track.  It’s a relaxed tune filled with light touches of piano and horns, again illustrating his growth as an incredible writer.  This new collection of songs is titled Still Life, as an homage to a art piece by Maynard Monrow; you can get the new record from Woodsist on October 14th.

Show Preview: Woods @ Holy Mountain (8.20)

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Date Wednesday, August 20th
Location Holy Mountain
Doors 9:00
Tickets $12 from Transmission


I feel like Woods is one of the bands that I will forever undervalue.  I snatch up everything they put out, then indulge far too frequently in those purchases. But, then I sometimes forget they even exist, especially since Kevin Morby always has something going on.  Luckily, we can all indulge on Wednesday in a little bit of Woods; their live sets are phenomenal, not to be missed gigs.  They cover so much sonic ground, from folk to pop to psychedelia, and it all blends together so seamlessly. Odds are they’ll spend a great bit of the night covering their most recent effort, With Light and With Love, yet I now they’ll fill their set with delights from the back catalogue. See you guys Wednesday!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/woods-suffering-season.mp3]

Download: Woods – Suffering Season [MP3]

New Music from Kevin Morby

kevKevin Morby‘s made quite a name for himself with Woods and the Babies, but the last year has really seen him step into a world of his own.  He released Harlem River, which received rave reviews, then put on a killer set here at the Mohawk in Austin.  And, he’s back again, this time agreeing to a fresh new single with Suicide Squeeze Records; it’s set to be released on August 5th. There’s an intimacy to his performance on this track, with careful guitar work and a solemnity in his voice; you can even here a bit of imperfection in pieces, which is a nice nod.  Enjoy listening to this one.

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