Brand New Punk Jam from Radioactivity (members of Marked Men)

radioactivity3x372Those of us in Texas have reason to be proud today.  Not only does this tune allow me to throw out a little bit of rock n’ roll your way, but it also marks the return of Jeff Burke from Japan. Jeff, who has renamed his work with The Novice, out of respect for his mates in Japan, has reunited with Mark Ryan, who you might know from The Marked Men (or Mind Spiders).  Together, they’ve formed Radioactivity, and this new tune’s a sweet introduction to the great things that are sure to come our way shortly. The band will be releasing their self-titled debut on Dirtnap Records at the end of  October.  Welcome home Jeff.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/WorldOfPleasure.mp3]

Download: Radioactivity – World of Pleasure [MP3]

Mind Spiders Rock It Out

Mind SpidersThe last two LPs from Mind Spiders have always received adulation and heavy rotation here at ATH, so it probably won’t change when the group releases their newest, Inhumanistic; it’s going to be released via Dirtnap Records on October 8th.  If you’ve caught the band in the last year, you’ve probably seen the track below; it’s a quick blasting song in the band’s traditional rock n’ roll fashion, pushing guitars quickly in anticipation of the group’s dynamite drumming.  And with an anthemic chorus of “make make make make” there’s no reason you won’t have a blast hopping about to this tune.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/MakeMakeMakeMake.mp3]

Download: Mind Spiders – Make Make Make Make [MP3]

Another New Rocker from Bad Sports

Bad SportsI’m going to admit that I have a bit of an obsession with Bad Sports, and all the associated acts of the members (Video, OBNIIIs, etc).  Their new record Bras is, to me, a huge success.  They’ve slowed down a few of the tunes, leaving listeners with these great power pop ballads; there’s still a nice grinding edge, however.  The track below is just such an example; it’s catchy in the chorus; there’s a stomping drum element.  My two cents think this is going to be a sleeper hit for a lot of folks that are into the realm of garage-rock.  Bras comes out on Dirtnap Records at the end of August.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/08-Terrible-Place.mp3]

Download: Bad Sports – Terrible Place [MP3]

Bad Sports Return!

Bad SportsLet’s not beat around the bush here; I absolutely love Bad Sports…even when they’re backing Nobunny!  The Texas trio is back with a brand new jam today, and a new album coming our way soon.  The first single has the group spinning catchy garage punk like only they can, filling the vocals with the band’s natural bit of swagger.  Their new album is called Bras, and it will be released by Dirtnap Records at the end of next month. You can count on it being the perfect record to close out our summer jam session.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/badsports_-_LetMeIn.mp3]

Download: Bad Sports – Let Me In [MP3]

Power Pop Goodness from Missing Monuments

missingmonumentsWhile they may have dropped the “King Louie” aspect from their name, Missing Monuments is still very much the project of Louie Bankston; he’s got the pedigree of power-pop genius, but I can appreciate the name alteration.  The group has a self-titled album coming out in the fall via my favorite lil’ label, Dirtnap Records, and our first taste has a bit of a heavier punch than some of the previous works we’ve gotten from Louie and the boys.  The riffs begin just as usual, but as the song progresses there’s a bent that wears a bit more of a metal edge.  Should be an interesting listen regardless of changing names and altered sounds.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/missingmonuments_-_answerthecall.mp3]

Download: Missing Monuments – Answer the Call [MP3]

Sweet Pop from Sugar Stems

sugarstemsThis is the case where the name has to say it all.  You want sweet? Then you better get behind the Sugar Stems. On the group’s new record they combine all the classic elements of power-pop, though with a steady punk edge.  Top it off with some sweet female vocal harmonies and you’ve got precisely what you need to leave listeners with a breathless hit.  The band will release their new record, Can’t Wait, today via the always reliable Dirtnap Records, so you’ll be able to bob your head up and down all day if you just hit up your local record store.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/10-6-Feet-Under.mp3]

Download: Sugar Stems – 6 Feet Under [MP3]

Low Culture – Screens

Rating: ★★★☆☆

If there’s one thing I’ve been able to count on for some time, it’s been the delivery of solid punk rock records from Dirtnap Records.  They’re at it again in 2013 with their first release, Screens by Low Culture.  Hailing from New Mexico, the band pumps out a grittier version of your modern power-pop, using furious pacing and jagged guitar chords to add an extra dose of energy.

“Screens” kicks off the entire affair, almost blasting off immediately with a punk rock anthem that blurs the lines between traditional punk rock and modern garage-pop.  A quickened beat, encouraged by the pounding rhythm of the drums, makes this one of the albums stand-out tracks.  Seamlessly, Screens moves along into “I Feel Your Ghost.”  It’s here that you first begin to notice a little bit more of a guttural influence on the vocals; this is one of the minor effects that carries the group away from the majority of their peers, at least in sonic comparisons.

While a great deal of Low Cultures latest effort has a tendency to stand in the territory of their punk/power-pop fusion, there are a few songs lurking here and there that allow listeners to absorb something a touch different. For me, you can tell by the opening guitar line of “Touchy Feely” that you’re in for something that varies from the group’s standard fare.  It jumps into a forceful vocal delivery, almost barked in your ear, though they do create a bit more classic alternative melody that enters towards the latter half of the song.  A few songs later you find yourself at “Nightmare,” providing that pummeling sound that one can only assume entices those in a live setting to circle about.  While I appreciate the variation in songwriting, these two examples are also probably the hardest for my ears to connect with during an average listening experience.

My favorite piece of Screens has to be “Trying to Quit.”  It’s sort of a sloppy garage ditty, which has me bobbing my head and tapping my toes as I write these very words.  It also features a softer vocal, though you can still hear a hint of strain; its presence makes the song immediately accessible and memorable, regardless of your personal tastes.  The group comes close to repeating this feat on the following track, “California,” although it takes a second or two longer to fully grasp the apparent pop sensibility in the songwriting.  Like the opening two tracks, this is a good 1-2 punch.

For my two cents, I’ve had a blast listening to Screens, blaring it on the home stereo time and time again.  Sure, there are some weaker spots, but even those I don’t mind playing all the way through.  While Low Culture waivers slightly in monotony, the record’s brevity allows them to avoid such traps, leaving music fans with an album you’ll spin on the table repetitively.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/01-Screens.mp3]

Download:Low Culture – Screens [MP3]

Veteran Punk from Steve Adamyk Band

You didn’t think I was going soft on you did you? I’m the resident punk rocker here, and I’ve written about Steve Adamyk Band before on these very pages.  On this new track from the group’s upcoming LP, they pummel quickly through the track, using sharp guitar chops with hints of feedback swirling.  Before you can blink, the track’s got you hooked, and then it’s over.  Sure, I could use an extra 45 seconds, but beggars can’t be choosers, right? If you dig what you hear, the band will be releasing Third on February 5th via the most excellent Dirtnap Records.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Katacombs.mp3]

Download:Steve Adamyk Band – Katacombs [MP3]

Rock N’ Roll from Low Culture

I know I’m struggling here on Friday, so I definitely needed an energetic pick up, which is lucky for me since I just got this great Low Culture tune.  There’s no pretense here, it’s just fast paced rock, in the vein of what I’ve deemed power punk.  It’s filled with hooks, especially in the chorus, yet there’s just a hint of gritty anger that blows your hair back.  They’ll be releasing their album, Screens, on my favorite Dirtnap Records on January 9th of next year.  You need energy and fun? You get Low Culture.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/01-Screens.mp3]

Download:Low Culture – Screens [MP3]

Garage Rocker from Legendary Wings

One of the many acts in the Dirtnap Records is the recent signee, Legendary Wings.  They’re still out promoting their recent release, Making Paper Roses, which is full of grit and energy.  This is the band’s most recent single, and it displays the garage quality that has endeared the group to punk fans such as myself.  Personally, I love the sound of the guitar on this track, pushed high up in the mix, yet holding onto a balls-out sensibility that soon makes way for the shouted hook of the gang vocal.  Just another solid hit from a band that’s out to kick ass and take some names.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/01-Nachos.mp3]

Download:Legendary Wings – Nachos [MP3]

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