New Indie Pop From The Rubbish Zoo

Here’s a new song for you kids into the indie-pop genre from L.A. based group The Rubbish Zoo.  The jam is called “I Don’t Know Where I Go” and appears on the band’s latest self-titled EP that can be streamed for free over on their soundcloud page.  Hopefully these are some jams that can put you in a better mood if you’re Monday hasn’t started the way you wanted it to.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/01-I-Dont-Know-Where-I-Go.mp3]

Download: The Rubbish Zoo – I Don’t Know Where I Go [MP3]

Charlie Big Time – Dishevelled Revellers EP

Rating: ★★★½☆

Britain has long had a history of crafting glowing guitar pop, though the more brash bands abroad have garnered more attention.  That’s probably a good thing, with bands like Charlie Big Time quietly making their way to our ears.  The group’s newest EP, Dishevelled Revellers is brief, but for those of you unfamiliar with the band it’s the perfect introduction to the group, now a proper trio.

The title track begins the four song affair, beginning casually for the most part.  It’s a quieted pop approach allowing listener’s to get a full grip on the inherent harmonies present within the track, but that changes at the 1 minute mark.  A chorus erupts with a more distorted guitar sound, giving a heavier touch to the softer melody working beneath the tune.  It’s a familiar song, sonically speaking, but one that speaks volumes to the craftsmanship of Charlie Big Time.

You’ll find that the lead single “The Liberation of Love” provides the perfect “pleased to meet you” moment with the band’s newest member, Beth Arzy.  Her effortlessly gentle voice provides the perfect juxtaposition to the deeper male vocal role, and gives a different level to the slower track.  There’s’ a wandering jangling guitar noodling its way about the track, which is one of the reasons I find Dishevelled Revellers so enjoyable; it’s not here to beat you over the head with brilliant pop, only here to let you sit back and enjoy incredible songwriting.

Personally, I immediately fell in love with “Real Estate” from the moment that guitar line comes in.  Strummed guitars are met with solid vocals and various other textures that demonstrates the creativity of the group–it even includes some light horn flourishes. Beth’s here again, but her voice is slightly understated, turning it into more of an instrument of lushness, rather than a counterpoint.  The subject matter seems fairly dark, but you’d never really know by the emotional tug you’ll get when listening to the track, happily floating away with the tune in your heart.

Then it all comes to an end with sullen “Passion and Headaches,” the fourth and final track here. It seems like the perfect song for someone living on the British Isles, or even the Northwestern US.  I find that there’s a bit of a cold haze that floats about the casual track; I picture the group crafting the song on their porch as the rain comes down.  But, like all great pop, you cannot help but to feel a bit of an uplifting aura surrounding the track, much as you’ll find on the whole Dishevelled Revellers EP.  Charlie Big Time have managed to quickly burst into the scene of great pop songwriting, and hopefully we’ll get to hear more from them soon.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-The-Liberation-of-Love.mp3]

Download:Charlie Big Time – The Liberation of Love [MP3]

Dishevelled Revellers is now available from Matinee Recordings.

 

Drifting Pop Tune from Grandparents

When you come across a tune that you can’t escape you’ve got to just sit down and applaud the efforts of the artists; that’s exactly what I did when I listened to this first track from the latest EP, titled Fumes, from Portland’s Grandparents.  There’s sort of a far-out approach to the craftsmanship of the group’s pop efforts, something that makes their songs always seem to rise and fall with the changes of the wind.  Hopefully you get the same sentimental drifting emotion that came to mind when I continuously played this song through my stereo; you’re going to find your spirit lightened just by listening.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Grandparents-FUMES-01-Arrows.mp3]

Download:Grandparents – Arrows [MP3]

Tiger Waves – Don’t Be Yourself

 

Rating: ★★★★☆

When I first encountered Austin’s Tiger Waves, I was caught off guard by their experimental inclusion of bits of noise that eventually shifted into snippets of grandiose pop.  However, on their recent release, Don’t Be Yourself, the band tends to switch it the other way around–clearly indicative of a band who have grown in their songwriting capabilities. 

“From the Start” begins with a bit of a noise snippet, but the impressive forcefulness of the track quickly breaks into full stride.  Personally, I like how the lyrics are hiding just a bit behind the music, almost like the classic rock we all grew up jamming to in our parents living room, and then it ends. But, the motif of classic songwriting comes in with the hints of psychedelia that are present on “Quebec.”  Perhaps it’s just that jangling tambourine and the affected vocal that gives it the San Francisco effect, but it fits perfectly with the mood of the entire album.

When Tiger Waves breaks into “I Hope You’ll Feel Alright” you can tell that the band has abilities beyond just living with their influences; they’ve created their own sound with fluid movements amidst many of the tracks.  Here, you get almost a quieted chant from the get go, but the lurking backing vocal seems to make way for the entire group to make some mono-syllabic noise in unison.  And this is where you’ll find Don’t Be Yourself really taking hold of listeners, as the record moves into “Summer.”  It’s the sort of constructive pop that recalls bands like Youth Lagoon or Ducktails, but only done more effectively since they’re utilizing the songwriting of an entire group in the studio.  Layering the vocals atop the music on this track definitely creates special moments that you won’t want to miss.

As Tiger Waves prepare to wrap up the whole affair, they close things out with the perfect juxtaposition of their unique sound.  Of course, “I Love You George Harrison” surely harkens back to the careful craftsmanship alluded to in the song’s title–and I’m sure it would make George proud.  But, then you end Don’t Be Yourself with the hauntingly brilliant “Underground.” It’s the quiet atmospheric touches, mellow pacing and steady dosage of pop writing that initially drew me to this band; it comes full circle as the band closes out this EP, going out in quite a fashion.

Hopefully this isn’t your first introduction to Tiger Waves, but if so, do yourself a favor and spend some time with the group’s music.  If Don’t Be Yourself is anything with which to judge these young lads by, then they’ll probably be around for some time, hopefully writing more great tunes such as these.  You can grab this EP, as well as other great tunes by visiting the band HERE.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/14_Underground.mp3]

Download: Tiger Waves – Underground [MP3]

 

New Music from Sad Accordions

All bands will have to grow in order to progress from recording to recording, and that seems to be the place that we find Austin’s Sad Accordions today.  The band is busy prepping a new EP, The Colors and the Kill, for a March 1st release date.  You can grab hand-decorated versions from the band’s at their shows this year.  Listening to the single from this six-track effort, you get the feeling that the music itself is spreading out, giving the band a bit more variety, and a whole lot more power going forward.  It’s nice to see one of our local acts push themselves, and doing so, push the whole town to rock a whole lot harder.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/05_Inside_Out.mp3]

Download: Sad Accordions – Inside Out [MP3]

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