I’ve got a lot of respect for Shane Natalie, not the least of which is attributed to his day gig as a Special Education teacher (RayRay and I both teach too!). Of course, you can also look at his Good Shade project where Shane plays all the instruments and writes all the parts. His guitar style is similar to label-mates such as Marked Men or Steve Adamyk; it’s furiously rushing from the get-go, racing alongside your ears all the way to the song’s finish. And, it wouldn’t grab my ear of Natalie’s voice didn’t have the slightest penchant for pop leanings when he stretches it. Good Shade will release Way Out on February 15th via Dirtnap Records.
The Marked Men have been around for nearly two decades, influencing a shit ton of your favorite acts, and mine. They’ve even gone on to start other projects we love like Mind Spiders or Low Culture (to name but a few). All this matters as Dirtnap are prepping a collection of the band’s non-LP tunes, including the never before heard track before. It’s precisely the sort of jam you’d expect the band to drop, with furious guitars hinting at pop sensibility, stunning drum work and emphatic vocal bursts. You can grab On the Other Side on November 23rd, and you’ll be damn happy you did.
While most of the ATH crew is out having fun at ACL for weekend two, RayRay is here with more new tunes from our friends Bad Sports. Having already heard new single “Don’t Deserve Love” it was clear that the boys could still bring the sweet rock pain to your ears. Now with this new single and title track from the upcoming album, “Constant Stimulation”, it is again confirmed that Bad Sports are still creating unique punk rock music with their own spin to it. Once again, welcome back gents.
Bad Sports will release Constant Stimulation on October 29th via Dirtnap Records.
It’s hard to pin down Bad Sports, as all their members are incredibly active in various other ventures. But, they’re back with their first album since 2016, and the first single is this huge anthemic power rocker. The band seem to have shred a little bit of their punk rock bravado, though that might just be this song; in lieu of that change, the band’s natural hooks seem to be all the more prominent…especially if you take those gang vocals that round out the song’s close. Whatever they’re doing, I’m always listening, so I’m excited to see that Constant Stimulation will be out via Dirtnap Records on October 29th.
Drawing nearer to the weekend, we could all use a little jumpstart in our lives, so why not put on the new LP from Proud Parents today. It’s 13 tracks of power-pop goodness, both energetic and catchy, from start to finish. The band trade off lead vocalists between Claire, Heather and Tyler; they also all join in on each other’s song, leaving you with an album’s worth of sing-a-long hits that will keep your thirst satiated. If you love what you hear, check the stream below, then grab the whole self-titled LP from the good people at Dirtnap Records.
Proud Parents are just a few weeks away from the release of their next LP, and what better way to entice you to open up your wallet then by offering a listen to this super infectious single. It sounds a lot like Shannon & the Clams, if you painted the band with a slightly more energetic and jangling vibe. It’s soulful and youthful, all at the once, leaving you to tap your toes and sing along from the get go. Their self-titled LP will drop on June 22nd via Dirtnap Records, with a tour to follow in July (including an Austin date at Beerland on 7/12).
One of my favorite albums this year is the latest Spook School LP; having so many songwriters in one band really makes the whole listen refreshing. Why does that matter with Proud Parents? Well, the group employs a similar strategy, with three vocalists/songwriters helming the ship. On their new single that recently popped up, its clearly visible, trading verses/choruses with one another while guitar chords dance around the vocals and cymbals constantly crash through your speakers. There’s something innately catchy; the band just seem to be having a blast, and that grabs me. The band will release their debut for their new label, Dirtnap Records, later this year!
As avid Mind Spiders fans at ATH, we feel we should help you circle back to the band’s latest track, dropped just yesterday. It’s an interesting number, opening with what seems a sampled drum pulse before vocals start being thrown through your speakers from a distance. You can hear a faint tension in the building of the guitars, but it’s never fully unleashed, coated in a darkened cloud that rides the track out. Eventually, voices are gone and you have the band delving into their own propulsive sound as the track fades out. It’s the title track from their new effort Furies, which will be released by Dirtnap Records on January 26th.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Jeff Burke, be it in Radioactivity or Marked Men, but his little known project, Lost Balloons also has a soft spot. Quietly, this new single popped up on Dirtnap Records soundcloud, and lo and behold the band have a new records ready on June 16th. Like all Burke’s tracks, the immediacy of his pop sensibility connects, this time with a simple ring of quick acoustic guitar. Burke’s voice has a familiarity that I love, but it also seems to maintain this perfect youthfulness that many artists try to move beyond. Dammit I love pop music; I hope I love Hey Summer when it hits this June.
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Pop punk definitely has a home in Austin, but it seems we’ve inherited a great bit of that from our friends up in the DFW/Denton area, especially if you give a listen to this brand new Drakulas track. The band is brandishing a blend of gritty pop punk akin to Texas vets Marked Men or Radioactivity…and this is not entirely a bad thing, as I’m clearly a fan of that sound. Their album, Raw Wave, hits stores on November 18th, and it’s shaping up to be something quite special. In what seems like a banner year for Austin music, it looks like we have another hit on our hands; look for the release from Dirtnap Records.
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