What? You still listen to THAT album? That record is so 2004! Well, that’s okay, because we really like that one too, which is why we decided to come up with a list of our favorite albums of the last decade (2000-2009). Sure, these might not be YOUR favorite records, or the most critically acclaimed, but we sat down and really thought out every record from the past ten years that we keep coming back to in our collections. You’re likely to disagree with some of these, and we won’t tell you we’re absolutely right we just know that these happen to be OUR favorites. If you think we totally blew it here, feel free to tell us so, but be nice, as our egos are kind of fragile. Follow the jump for more.
It seems that Scott Reitherman has finally found a consistent group of musicians to flesh out his songs, as the new Throw Me The Statue album, Creaturesque is steps above the band’s first album, Moonbeams. Sure, it’s their second album, so we’re expecting growth and maturity, but it’s so far beyond where that first album began that it’s worth giving credit where credit is due.
When the guitar tinkering begins the album on “Waving at the Shore,” you begin to wonder if you’re in for another lo-fi production a la every other record this year. But, clarity coincides with the introduction with Scott’s vocals. His control over his inflection and delivery is noticeable throughout the song, and it’s one of the more charming aspects of the group. Here, you will also find a steady barrage of carefully crafted horn blasts; it’s just a slight extra element, but it elevates the song.
Inclusion of extra elements typically is meant to add a certain sense of depth, and while Throw Me the Statue could surely hold their own without it it, these little flourishes complete the sonic soundscape of the album as a whole, bringing it to completion by filling in every inch of space, yet never becoming overbearing. “Ancestors” is the prime exhibit of this tactic. The song waivers in fullness and depth, but then switches to the intimacy of singer-songwriter near the end, complimenting both elements by capturing a diverse sound in song.
Oddly, one of the elements that has been predominant since the band’s inception, the keyboard/electronica, is one of the drawbacks that exists here. For instance, “Hi Fi Goon” opens with this little piece, but the sound itself is sort of juvenile and generic. Sure, it’s definitely meant to help push the songs in a certain direction, but when it’s used so often, it seems to act as a cloak for some of the weaker moments in the group’s song dynamic. It would be great to see the band stripped of this crutch, as Reitherman surely has the intoxicating pipes to keep us interested.
“Baby You’re Bored” is one of the album’s shorter songs, but it is the pure contradiction to the previous paragraph, as it’s a stripped down song entirely. It recalls a more contained Band of Horses or early Built to Spill, both which hailed, at one point or another, from the Norhwest just like Throw Me the Statue. The song is a success, and one can hope that the approach may be used more often in the future.
Creaturesque is a solid record, surely, despite a few little missteps. It’s clever where it needs to be, and it’s wonderfully constructed from beginning to end. One more album and the group will surely be on their way to winning over everyone with their electronic-folk pop.
Sunday night wrapped up a rather moderate week of live music in Austin, but let’s not forget that we’ve had a pretty awesome summer of live music. Fortunately for us at ATH, we were able to catch Foreign Born, The Veils and Other Girls at The Mohawk on Sunday night, just after we did our best to pretend to be entertained by the Anarchy Wrestling Tour outside of the Mohawk. You can’t argue with $1 Pabst or good tunes. Follow the jump for our take on the show and a few snapshots.
Yeah we’re going there ACL. For all the numerous good things that happen during our little festival, there are always a few things people tend to complain about (whiners). We’re keeping this list just a bit short because I think most agree that the positives of the weekend always outweigh the negatives. Things not included on this list are complaints we have every year like: $8 Lonestars, $6 hamburgers that taste like dirt, long bathroom lines, and the like. Those are things we all hate but won’t be changing anytime soon. No, with this list, we hope the good people at C3 hear our cries and makes this festival the one everybody talks about. So without further ado….. The Austin Town Hall Top 5 worst moments at ACL after the jump.
So it’s come down to this. The major conflict we see on Sunday at 7:30 has got to be Sub Pop boys Band of Horses playing against sister duo Tegan & Sara. Let’s just call this one the ATH Battle Royal. You have a choice between reverb laden rock n’ roll or creators of probably the best pop song to come out in several years “Back in Your Head”. What’s it gonna be? You have a difficult decision ahead of you. We hope you make the right one. Check out two of the greatest tunes of last year:[audio:https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/bandofhorses-isthereaghost.mp3]
Download: Band of Horses – Is There a Ghost [MP3]
Download: Tegan & Sara – Back in Your Head [MP3]