• Top Albums of 2021

    Honestly, I’m pretty over lists at this point. They’re arbitrary and don’t really reflect anything but someone’s tastes, except here where they reflect the tastes of three individuals…because that’s how

    Read more »
  • Show Pics: Idles @ Stubb’s

    After over 2 years of being a home body and living with anxiety, mixed with a dash of unease, it was an overwhelmingly cathartic experience to get out of the

    Read more »
  • Fest Pics: ACL 2021 In Review

    We are a little bit clear of ACL 2021’s two weekends. We dealt with the mental gymnastics required to attend both weekends during a pandemic. Proof of a negative test

    Read more »
  • Rock n’ Recipes: Quivers

    Earlier this year, Quivers released the most excellent Golden Doubt, receiving rave reviews all over the globe…not to mention ATH adoration. So, having followed the band, we reached out to

    Read more »

Mastodon Bring More Rock

mastodon-photoMaybe some of our readers are not ready for the face melting music of Mastodon, but count ATH as one of their many fans. The Grammy winning band are bringing you a new album on March 24th entitled Crack the Skye and have two new songs to preview the effort. First new song “Oblivion” can be heard on the album’s website along with some sweet flash animations.  We’ve got the other new tune “Diviniations” for you below.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/mastodon-divinations.mp3]

Download: Mastodon – Divinations [MP3]

Odawas – The Blue Depths

odawasRating: ★★★½☆

Odawas come to us from Berkely, California via the Midwest, which is definitely an attribute one can find on both ends of the spectrum when listening to their newest album, The Blue Depths, off JagJaguwar Records.

This an album of soundscapes, carefully sculpted with an artists touch, as the duo of Isaac Edwards and Michael Tapscott, pay attention to every inch of the recording process and the musical concept.  Clearly, this is an album where they sat down together, determined a common path they wished to depart upon, and decided to take us their with them.  Even the album artwork and the song titles illustrate a journey of sorts, for all those participating in the listening experience.  Titles like “Swan Song of the Humpback Angler” and “Moonlight/Twilight” clearly represent a canvas on which the band can paint.

Oddly, they choose to do a lot of the percussive work with a twinge of eighties pop keyboard elements.  The backing sounds are remarkably similar to every soundtrack you would hear in the pop-culture movies of the eighties.  Still, it keeps some of the more brooding moments rising above the seemingly somber moments that exist throughout. And yet the band push on with their sound, carefully filling every single inch of space with some form of instrumentation, be it harmonica, string arrangement or vocal melody; they don’t leave a single musical stone unturned here.

Vocals all over the album are a little bit in the vein of something we would have seen with Jason Lytle, just a whole lot gentler, as if the Californian has been sampled, slowing his voice down to a whispering tone.  It’s a trait that allows for the band to put the music on the forefront, with the vocals remaining just an extra instrument for them to utilize in the ultimate construction of this album.  This being the case, its hard to take a lot of quality understanding from the vocals in the realm of lyrics, but that probably isn’t the point at all.  They want you to be drawn in, pulling your ears closer to the speakers as you fight to take meaning from their compositions.

In the end, this is the seeming purpose behind this release, as it surely is a moment of pure mood music.  This isn’t to suggest that you need to be in a certain mood to grasp the record; this is by no means the purpose of that statement.  The purpose of making a blanket statement such as that means that while listening to this album in its entirety, as you should do with all albums, you will find that your mood has been altered.  This is precisely what Odawas wants of you, they want you to immerse yourself in their wonderful world of space and sound.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/02-swan-song-of-the-humpback-angler.mp3]

Download: Odawas – Swan Song of the Humpback Angler [MP3]

SXSW Watchlist: Choo Choo

choochooWe continue our attempts to bring you some lesser known SXSW acts today with Swiss artist Choo Choo.  Originally formed as a 3 piece back in ’06, the band now performs their brand of 60s style garage rock as a 4 piece out of their home in Berne, Switzerland.  Catchy hooks infused with fuzzy guitar and some pop stylings all their own characterize the sound on Choo Choo’s debut self-titled LP out in 2008.  The band’s going to be hard at work making a name for themselves during SXSW and playing more shows than any band ever should.

Catch an official showcase @ B.D. Riley’s Thursday March 19th 9pm.

Or for you freeloaders, check the band’s myspace for a whole slew of other unofficial parties planned.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/a-little-wiser-now.mp3]

Download: Choo Choo – A Little Wiser Now [MP3]

New Tunes from Cursive

cursiveTim Kasher has long been penning incredible tunes, both as the frontman for Cursive, and as the man behind The Good Life. Now comes the time of year where we can all be grateful, as new tunes are now available in preparation for Cursive‘s release of Mama, I’m Swollen, out on March 10th via Saddle Creek Records. You can hear “I Couldn’t Love You” over at Entertainment Weekly.

Also, they released another track yesterday to the public, which is also another song off the upcoming album.  This song, “From the Hips” illustrates Tim at his best, writing great lyrics, and the song just seems to churn out those special moments we missed on the band’s Happy Hollow last time around.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/cursive-fromthehips.mp3]

Download: Cursive – From the Hips [MP3]

New Tunes from Bricolage

bricoGlasgow, Scotland has a certain place in my heart, as my favorite band stems from the region, not to mention their influence Orange Juice. Yet, here comes another great band, Bricolage, that seems to owe a bit of love towards the aforementioned band.  Throw in a touch of The Smiths, and you’ve got a rollicking good time.  The band is set to release their self-titled album on Slumberland this May.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/08turnuover.mp3]

Download: Bricolage – Turn U Over [MP3]

Clem Snide – Hungry Bird

clemRating: ★★★☆☆

Eef Barzelay had promised us long ago that his days with Clem Snide were well over, which was odd, seeing as he was the primary musician behind the band’s music.  But, here we are again with Clem Snide’s newest album, Hungry Bird.

Barzelay is one of those singers who has a very distinctive voice.  It’s somewhat near the nasal region, yet in an endearing way.  This quality in his voice makes you immediately familiar with him as a frontman, and it draws you in closer to the group; it is meant to draw you in closer to the lyrics.

As in the past, Barzelay weaves his lyrics around the most mundane of things, though this time around, there is less of a childishness to the entirety of the lyrics.  Well, childish is probably not the word to use, so let’s use wit in this case.  Seemingly, he’s thrown these lyrical concepts a little bit away from the group, which inevitably bring a more serious tone to the album as a whole.  It’s a different approach for the group, one that might lead long-time fans through a period of adjustment.

A serious tone has been established through the vocal and lyrical element, which really sets the mood for the listener.  The band, always lumped into post-country genres, has never been one to fiercely pick up the pace, but it seems here they definitely slow the tempo all the way down.  Take “Hum,” for example, a slowly sprawling song, ending with a seeming crescendo of ferocity, but pulled back just in time for the band to hone that slowdown hoedown that covers the album.

Most will appreciate this album’s gentleness, as the level of intimacy achieved here is one that will bond with listeners.  The quietude of the mood is soothing, and it forces you to pay attention to every little aspect of the album.  Strong production allows you to see those littlest details, as the band has filled out all possible areas of their sound.  It’s almost as if its a late slocore album, shedding the walls of country tinge away as they created, and ultimately finished this album.

Long time fans will surely be glad to have this band back together, working to create that soft edge of country sound that many people lovingly dote upon.  While it may not be the best of the group, songs such as “Burn the Light” will surely show that Clem Snide is still a strong force to be reckoned with, now, and in the future.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/03-hum.mp3]

Deep Elm Emo Sampler

deepelmIf you thought emo was dead, think again peoples!  The now legendary label Deep Elm is offering up a 15 song sampler of emo tracks from all of their artists new and old.  ATH favorites like Appleseed Cast, Slowride, Sounds Like Violence, and a slew of others appear on the free compilation.  Here’s one of our favorite old school emo tunes featured on the sampler by Appleseed Cast.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/12-track-12.mp3]

Download: Appleseed Cast – Marigold & Patchwork [MP3]

Drew Danburry

tour2008_lrgWe receive a lot of randomness in our inbox here at ATH and rarely does anything strike our interest like Drew Danburry has.  Maybe it’s a shared love for The Never Ending Story or the songwriters catchy diddy about Atreyu’s beloved horse Artex.  Regardless, check out Mr. Danburry’s hilarious video for the song which follows the scene from the movie line for line.  You can find out more about Drew Danburry on his website.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/artex_died_in_truth_or_consequences_new_mexico.mp3]

Download: Drew Danburry – Artex [MP3]

New Tunes from Swan Lake

swansSwan Lake is a supergroup, featuring members of Frog Eyes, Wolf Parade, and Destroyer. Their newest album, Enemy Mine is slated for release via Jagjaguwar Records on March 24th. While early indications claim Frog Eye’s Casey Mercer as the better writer this time out, you can’t count out Destroyer’s Dan Bejar. Just take a listen to the following track.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/swan-lake-spider.mp3]

Download: Swan Lake – Spider [MP3]

1 1,684 1,685 1,686 1,687 1,688 1,766