Just as I’m lamenting the scene in our hometown, Borzoi pop up with a new single to wake me from my Austin doldrums. Be warned, turning this up at high volume is likely to lead to momentary delirium. The rhythmic section alone has this incredible push and pull to it, like the heavy swaying of a crowd on the verge of cathartic eruption. Hitting heavy at the front, they turn that into this almost playful angular moment right after the one-minute mark, hanging high upon the rafters of that pulsing rhythm. Why this band isn’t the most notable in town I don’t know, but we look forward to hearing more…as we’re still awaiting news on the follow-up to A Prayer for War (12XU)…and this may or may not feature on that release.
Lewsberg have been on our radar pretty consistently since we were first introduced to the group by their work with 12XU. But, they just announced they’re joining on with Speedy Wunderground to be part of the label’s marvelous Single Series, which are always super limited. After last year’s sneakily strong In Your Hands, the group return with a bit more pace, pushing the rhythmic pulse that provides a backbone for everything in between. I love the way the vocals change between a sort of spoken call-and-response and overlapping commentary. Plus, the band are never afraid to ride that train and let the sonic exploration lead the way. The new single drops on Friday digitally, so hear the A-side now!
I had no idea we were getting a new Lewsberg LP until a little email popped up in ye old inbox, but man, this Friday just got infinitely better…for me anyways. If you’ve never listened to the Dutch group before, I suggest setting aside some time to spend with the band today…and might I add you can start off with 2020’s In This House. It’s early in the morning, and I’m just diving in here, so not sure which of the tracks will be my favorite, but I think those of you who are into bands like Smog or Low will surely find yourselves a comforting listen on this Friday. US fans can grab the In Your Hands from 12XU.
When I stumbled upon Florry, courtesy of their new LP announcement with 12XU, I was pretty floored; I felt like I had stumbled upon the most delightful lo-fi rock there was to find. Now, Francie Medosch is taking me for a different ride entirely, and I don’t mind one bit. Casual listeners will feel like they’ve landed in some sort of barnyard bash, such is the force of the twang and slide of those guitars. But, stay with it, as you’re in for a treat. Francie’s vocals are gentle, yet they have this distinctive peculiarity, not unlike something you’d associate with Daniel Johnston. Trust me, we’re in for a treat when Big Fall drops on August 27th.
I have next to no idea about Florry, other than what I can read on the bandcamp liner notes. But, I trust the label she’s on, and I trust the sounds coming through my speakers. At times, the latest single from the forthcoming Big Fall has this slight sort of indifferent bedroom jangle, something that you might associate with old K Records vibes…you know catchy but dissonant in a way. Then, the song has these scurrying guitar lines that seem sort of bluesy, giving the song this natural expanse that you might not associate with a two minute pop song. Being new to Florry, I’m definitely excited to hear more. You can grab the LP on August 27th from 12XU.
I was super surprised, yet grateful, that Austin’s The Dead Space had returned after their hiatus a few weeks back, and with another single for you, hopefully you can join in the excitement over at ATH. It instantly opens with this cascading guitar line, immediately raising your anxiety level as Jenny Arthur furious pounds on drums. The rhythm controls the verses, as Quin’s guitar skitters in and out of focus, letting his voice haunt you in this cavernous manner. I love that the band never chooses the obvious release, and in fact, sometimes its the absence of that which keeps drawing me back into their tunes; they’re not here to offer you your formulaic brand of darkened indie rock. Look for their new album Chlorine Sleep to drop on May 7th via 12XU.
Just in case you haven’t heeded my previous warning, you’re going to want to get to know Xetas this year, if they’re not already on your rock n’ roll radar. They’ve got a new video from their forthcoming The Cypher, and I’m freaking in love with this jam. It opens interestingly, with these jagged chords kind of building this nervous tension; it’s juxtaposed by the calm delivery of Kana’s voice, which quickly turns into an explosive howl as the band meets for the chorus. I think my favorite moment comes around the 2:03 mark with the line “have you ever watched the mountain range, change.” The full album is out next Friday via 12XU.
We here at ATH have been waiting to hear what was in store when Xetas much anticipated new LP was announced. Today the whole world gets to hear the power the band brandish with the new of the Cypher. Immediately, there’s this dangerous energy with the rhythm section crafting a steady stomp while the riffs knife their way in and out of the tune. The vocal delivery is almost a call to action in the way its delivered…save for the chorus which brings in just the slightest hint of pop sensibility to the band’s sound. It all fades into a wall of crashing noise, drawing the song to a close. It’s energetic, touching on hardcore and punk, while building in some insatiable hooks; this could be the record that blows the rest of you out of the water. The Cypher drops on January 24th via 12XU.
I know they were never a Black Fret band, and not sure about any Austin Music Awards, but Spray Paint (even when no longer living in Austin) have been one of the best rock groups with their tentacles in our unfair city. They’ve been quiet, and had taken a hiatus of sorts as members relocated. Nonetheless, they’re returning, and do so with this emphatic single that doesn’t seem to abide by any rules set forth. There’s this sense of foreboding on this tune, like something dark is on the horizon; the drums have this nervous energy, the vocals are delivered in this cavernous manner…a warning to listeners. In the last two minutes the band jump into experimental noise arena, with what seems like a faint heartbeat barely audible in the far off distance. Again, one of the greatest acts to come out of Austin in the last 10 years (or more), and now they’ll release Into the Country on October 25th via 12XU.
There’s just something about Dark Blue that always resonates when I press play on ye olde computer. There’s this penchant for post-punk, but it’s absent of the typical posturing of nostalgic rip-offs. And of course, central to the band’s sound is the voice of John Sharkey III, deep in tone, solemn in delivery. Here, there’s wave after wave of guitar crashing into and around Sharkey, but he shrugs it off with indifference, focusing instead on the way he shares each syllable. More people should be into this band; look for their new LP, Victory is Rated, to drop on 12XU.