FTC: Descendents

Since Chaos n’ Tejas is in town this week, it feels a little weak to be talking about pop-punk, but I have a feeling that every kid going out to those punk shows has to own at least one Descendents record, if not all of them, as true fans should.  Now, I know they didn’t necessarily create the genre, but in my eyes, no one did it any better than this group.  I was recently reminded of their incredible power when listening to guitarists Stephen Egerton‘s solo album, 7 Degrees, which has all kinds of guest appearances, including one from Descendents singer Milo.  Not to mention that the group is perfect for driving around windows down. The lyrics are bratty and pubescent, but they did it in a way that wasn’t vulgar, and didn’t come off as a joke; after all, listening to these guys, I was a kid. Still, pop-punk gets a lot of flack nowadays because of the way its been exploited by the corporate industry, but if you want to see a band that did it faster and with more class, then go get yourself some of the Descendents. You’ll be glad you did.


Free EP from Efterklang (sort of)

In 2009, Efterklang was one of our band’s to keep an eye on in 2010, and they lived up to our expectations with their new album Magic Chairs.  Now we’ve got news that the Danes are releasing a free EP with their mutant band, SlaraffenKlang, made with friends Slaraffenland.  Some of the tunes on the five song EP are mash-ups, while some are just joyous jams for you to enjoy with your friends.  So instead of listening to those new Arcade Fire tracks (as they’re mediocre at best), take a listen to this killer ensemble group.  Get your copy of the free EP HERE.  You can also just enjoy this killer track from the Magic Chairs.


Download: Efterklang – Modern Drift [MP3]

More New Music From Hot Hot Heat

Way back in November Hot Hot Heat announced that they were in fact still around and prepping a new album of dance floor ready hits.  Well now the band is ready to drop said LP, Future Breeds, next week on Dine Alone Records. Latest single from the upcoming album “Zero Results” shows even more promise of a grown up dance pop sound from Hot Hot Heat.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Zero-Results.mp3]

Download: Hot Hot Heat – Zero Results [MP3]

Chaos n’ Tejas Preview: Nobunny

Sweat, tie-dyed underwear, one heel and a bunny mask–oh yea, and the best garage rock being put out today!  Ladies and gentlemen Nobunny is going to rock your socks all the way off and then impregnate your girlfriend.  I just caught him in Oklahoma City last night and left in a Pabst induced stupor wishing that more bands would leave it all out on the stage like these guys did.  You can catch Nobunny headlining at Beerland Thursday night for $6.  Masks on kids.

Corey.Ayers runs Hulktrhash, and is a sometimes writer for ATH.


Download: Nobunny – I Am A Girlfriend [MP3]

This Will Destroy You @ Mohawk (5/27)

Date 5/27/10
Location Mohawk
Doors 8pm
Tickets $10 @ Frontgate

We mentioned recently that San Marcos amigos This Will Destroy You are currently working on a new album set for release later this summer.  The guys are also about to kick start a massive tour and have a send off show planned for Thursday night at The Mohawk.  St. Louis band The Life and Times and fellow Austinites Low Line Caller will be on hand to prep you for the headlining act.  Trust me, you’ll want to see this band live before they start playing huge sold out venues in the future.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ThisWillDestroyYou_Threads.mp3]

Download: This Will Destroy You – Threads [MP3]

New Music From Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band

Just a short 18 months ago, Seattle based group Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band released their suprising debut LP on the world.  Now the band is already prepping new release Where the Messengers Meet for a drop date at the end of the summer on the Dead Oceans label.  Here’s wonderfully produced and epic style first single from that release “Leaving Trails”.  Count me as on board for this one.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/02-Leaving-Trails-1.mp3]

Download: Mt. St. Helen’s Vietnam Band – Leaving Trails [MP3]

Stornoway – Beachcomber’s Windowsill

Rating: ★★★½☆

In what seems an endless stream of choral, men’s folk group releases in the past year or so (i.e. The Avett Bros., Mumford and Sons to name a few), another has come along with a highly impressive entrance; this time from across the pond. Coming in with their debut album via 4AD, is the quartet (+ two) Stornoway, hailing from Oxford. Their debut album is chockfull of beautiful vocal arrangements and tight folk instrumentation, including a healthy string section, a scholarly intelligence, and a distinctive character to today’s folk music.

Although Stornoway resonate folk in its purest sense, few folk groups can convincingly croon about the topics of which these Oxford lads converse. The opening track, ‘Zorbing’ gives the listener a good sense of the experiential disconnects. (Try to make it through the whole video without feeling nauseous.) Zorbing if you weren’t aware “is the recreation of rolling downhill in an orb”. This track was the first single to catch the airwaves several years ago in the U.K.. The release only whet the appetite for hungry ears, though only recently are they getting much attention states-side. Correspondingly to this rather obscure hobby, the album slowly rolls along a gentle slope in a graceful and joyous manner. The addition of organ and harpsichord on ‘Fuel Up’ makes this song a dense, catchy tune. The violin and piano intro combined with the stark vocals give ‘The Coldharbour Road’ a more dark, haunting, and bitter tone but the track builds into a warming glow like a lantern on a dim-lit ocean-side.

While listening to ‘We Are the Battery Human’ and a healthy dose of banjo with barber shop quartet vocals is the perfect soundtrack to jump in the Lorry with a group of mates and drive aimlessly after a few pints. This reaction is similar to the way the record as a whole feels. It’s carefree and simple but with a sophisticated tone about it. ‘Watching Birds’ is without a doubt the heaviest anthem on the record. It’s a barn burner with the accompaniment of a kazoo! The title of this track refers to the fun fact that lead singer Brian Briggs holds a PhD in Ornithology, the study of birds. Supposedly during their live sets, he likes to teach the audience of habits of birds and their characteristics, though I have to see this to believe it.

The group slows the tempo back down for ‘On the Rocks’, a slow building ballad focusing more on the vocals and beautiful songwriting. Before long, the snare drum beat accelerates into a locomotive pushing the song along with wonderful harmonies and the vocals grow into a goose-bump inducing crescendo. On ‘Long Distance Lullaby’, the bell tolls for the final track and an echo of “good night” and a wonderful send off for one of the finest debut records to come wafting in the winds from the UK in a long time.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/01-stornoway-zorbing.mp3]

Download: Stornoway – Zorbing [MP3]

Free EP From Grand Archives

Despite my indifference to their latest album Keep in Mind Frankenstein, I still dig the sounds created by Seattle band Grand Archives.  To celebrate their upcoming summer tour, the boys are offering up a free download of a short 3 song/1 video EP entitled The Story So Far…  Each song on the EP is taken from a different Grand Archives release.  I’ll reminisce a bit with “Miniature Birds” from the bands steller self-titled Sub Pop debut.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/miniaturebirds.mp3]

Download: Grand Archives – Miniature Birds [MP3]

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