ACL Interview: Nightbox

nightboxUnless you’ve been under a rock or something, I’m sure you are aware that our annual ACL Festival is taking place this weekend in Zilker park.  Now we’ve already shared a few interviews with you guys and today we’re pumping out several more.  This one features up and coming indie-electro group Nightbox.  Every band member gets in on this one with some great responses.  Follow the jump for more.

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Another Great Tune from Evil Arrows

evolMan, I’m really loving this stuff from Evil Arrows.  During the hours when I’m feeling the need for relaxation, I put on this act.  There’s something about them…something that reminds me of Superdrag (one of the most underrated acts in my opinion). They’ve got this spin that’s half-pop, yet a little bit out there in the world, filling space with cascading solos and crashing cymbal work.  Sure, it’s the softer side of rock n’ roll, but it’s right up my alley.  If you like what you hear, look around for the bands EP 4, which comes out today.

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A Little Dream with Methyl Ethel

740088_718075458235398_671062281685800029_oAs I’m finally getting back on top of life, I’ve come across this gem from Methyl Ethel that I seem to have glanced over mistakenly, as there’s no other reason for that exclusion on our site.  Recently they gave this tune a live spin via THIS VIDEO, but I’m stuck on the swirling guitar work that casually glides like only the dreamiest pop songs can.  A nice little echo on the vocals smooths things out just a bit, completing my love of the tune. They’re wrapping up the finishing touches on their debut album, so I’ll keep you posted on the Aussie outfit.

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The History of Apple Pie – Feel Something

appsRating: ★★★½☆

If you haven’t heard of London’s The History of Apple Pie, you probably shouldn’t beat yourself up about it, as they only released their debut album, Out of View, last year. The unintentional product of singer Stephanie Minh and guitarist Jerome Watson messing around with a guitar and a computer in a bedroom gave them their start. With an added touch of a drummer they found on the Internet, who magically came along with a bassist and another guitarist, they got their start. Now they’re back a year later to try and expand on their shimmery indie pop with Feel Something. Can they go beyond the glimmer and dole out a sophomore release that hits deep?

They kick things off with “Come Undone,” which has this undercurrent of electric guitar that runs through the whole song—be it in the background as that shiny, clean sound, or in the center of things with a little bit of added twang It’s not a bad first number, but the superstar song that simply steals the show for me is third up on the record, “Keep Wondering,” which is that kind of track that you’ll want to play on repeat all day, and maybe all week. It opens with a sort of preview for the number, as if you’re hearing the band rocking out in the other room, thirty seconds go by and you finally decide to open that closed door and there is the band at their finest, the jangly lead guitar knocking you off your feet with waves of striking sound, reinforced by the tambourine-heavy percussion and the crash of cymbals like waves off fresh ocean spray. If this wasn’t enough, then Minh steps in with her honeyed vocals that seem to float atop the mix with their airy quality. Altogether, this creates an easy listening song that also cuts through with a little rock in that guitar—simply a great track.

There are some other pretty killer songs on this record: I like the little simmering number “Puzzles,” which lets the group sink into a bit more of a sultry number. The guitar on this song has a bit of snarl on it as it loops through the tune, giving the band the most bite possible with their sugary sound. Just when you thought that the track was already a step in a different direction, then it kicks into a whole new level towards the end, capitalizing on the build they’ve made and making this track go from good to great.

Feel Something isn’t really a step in any direction away from The History of Apple Pie’s first album, but in a fair number of instances on this sophomore record, I’m all right with that. I’ve found some number tracks to add to the genre of glossy and sunny jangle pop, and maybe you can too.

More New Music from Cool Ghouls

socoolSome bands just get you. Their sound encompasses everything you’ve been enjoying over the last however long, which is where my infatuation with Cool Ghouls begins.  They’ve got this semi-folk feel to their sound, though admittedly, it’s been more folk than semi.  That being said, the newest single from the group has a nice touch to it that seems to amplify the band’s sound; I love the way the vocals hold onto a gang approach. If you’re looking for something that adheres to the current psychedelia cum folk realm, then check out their new album, A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye, when it hits on November 11th via Empty Cellar Records.

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Furrow is my Jam

10575140_727232720682711_5461754013417150931_oUgh. I’m really in a rock n’ roll mood as of late.  I’m just tired of the indie rock tropes, so I just want something I can turn up really loud…today it just happens to be Furrow.  The UK act have recently released their West Felton LP via Bleeding Gold Records, and this tune is probably one of my favorites.  Starting slow, it picks up pretty quickly with this fuzzy riff and bouncing drum beat; vocals are shouted our way with a bit of ferocity. It’s simple in the grand scheme of things, but often those are the things that blow me away the most.  Give this a whirl folks.

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Purling Hiss – Weirdon

homepage_large.635a11a9Rating: ★★★★☆

It seems like the genre of weirdo rock and roll is one that’s up-and-coming and is perhaps the trend of the present and the near future. Whether it be twisted in different angles with subgenres like psychedelic, garage rock, or lighter jangly pop, it is all the rage lately to be slightly off kilter and less straight edged. Purling Hiss have been doing this for years, but just how weird is Weirdon?

Turns out its not so freaky and more-so just plain good, albeit those things aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive. “Forcefield of Solitude” kicks the album off with the squall of some feedback before Purling Hiss lays down some psychedelically gritty guitars and far-away percussion to combine for this almost anthem-esque opening to the song as well as the record. Soon the vocals join the mix and offer some more grit, as Mike Polizze provides his hollow and yet somehow simultaneously engaging pipes. Though immediately striking, the track becomes absolutely swoon-worthy whenever it gets to the chorus, and you just want to sing along with the group…but wait, what’s that you hear? Handclaps? What’s better than handclaps? Nothing.

The first few tracks are a little deceptive, as Weirdon is not all straightedge garage rock either; oddly enough the more eclectic numbers in my opinion are the mellower tunes like “Reptili-A-Genda” and “Running Through My Dreams.” On both of these numbers, the emptier nature of the tracks allow for the guitar parts to stand out as extra twangy and almost sour sounding. “Running Through My Dreams,” makes this work very well for itself, and Polizze steps it down on his vocals, almost whispering you the words in the delicacy of the song. It’s a beautiful number that provides a large contrast between the more jarring and heavier numbers that surround it—solid track placement.

Though airing on the side of a little more straightforward garage rock than weird for the most part, Weirdon is clearly an album with a range; there’s jangle, fuzzy vocals, great cutting guitar licks and a balance and delicate imbalance of all those things. There’s a lot to love here, so get to listening.


Show Review: The War on Drugs @ Stubb’s 9/28

photo 4 Last night at Stubb’s was a night for a little hillbilly-esque rock and roll, as Philidelphia’s The War on Drugs made their way to Austin once again to play the hits off their stunning release, Lost In The Dream, which came out to great praise earlier this year. A fair number of folks eventually turned up for this Sunday night show, albeit, mostly after the opening band, Califone, were halfway through their set. Read more about how the night unfolded after the jump.

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Austin Spotlight: New Single from Genuine Leather

genwineThe last we heard from Genuine Leather was the group’s second album, Losers, but they’re back today with a crisp bit of guitar pop to help make your day.  If, like me, you love a good bit of guitar work, then this is going to be the perfect song for you.  They’re definitely  nostalgically leaning riffs, with a bit of crunch working to aid the hook in the vocal chorus.  There’s no word yet as to whether this single is a one-off or if it’s prepping for the group’s next release…expect us to keep you updated on that front in the near future.

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