Dark Post-Punk from Grave Babies

Hopefully you’ve heard about the Grave Babies by now, as they’re about to start winning people over across the Internet. The band’s about ready to release their Gothdammit EP on April 17th via Hardly Art, and while the title might have some allusions to the music itself, there’s still a whole lot beneath that wall of darkness aching to be released.  If you listen to this track, you’ll hear the pounding rhythm and the wall of noise, but that tiny hint of melody held back by the slightest bit of restraint is exactly what grabs you.  I can’t wait to get this EP in my hands!


Download:Grave Babies – Nightmare [MP3]

Brazen Pop Ditty from Tacocat

Yes, the music is as playful as the band name, and that’s not a bad thing at all.  The Seattle quartet, Tacocat, has recently signed on with Hardly Art Records to release the Take Me To Your Dealer EP, which will actually be squeezed into the 7″ format; it will be available to the masses on March 13th, so be ready to pick your limited edition copy up at your local record store.  It’s no surprise that the band has shared the stage with the likes of Best Coast and Vivian Girls, since their sound definitely falls into that category, although you’ll find that this group’s approach is one that’s a bit more polished–void of the extensive atmospheric reverb and distortion.  You’ll like it, promise.


Download:Tacocat – Spring Break-Up [MP3]

New Music From Hunx

Earlier this year, Seth Bogart (often known simply as Hunx) released incredible throwback album Too Young To Be In Love with his Punx in tow.  As much as we loved that record around these parts, it seems likely that we’ll equally love Hunx first solo effort Hairdresser Blues out February 28th via the ever expanding Hardly Art Records.  Until that date, enjoy this new song “Always Forever” and let us know what ya think.  I think it’s my jam of the week.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/HXS_AlwaysForever.mp3]

Download: Hunx – Always Forever [MP3]

New Single From Seapony

One of my favorite discoveries of the year, Seapony, are prepping a new 7″ single for this sweet new song “Sailing”.  This track comes shortly after the band released their debut LP Go With Me earlier this year on Hardly Art records.  For now we’ve only got a stream for ya so stay tuned and pick up your copy of the new single on November 22nd in your favorite local record store.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Sailing.mp3]

Show Preview: The Men @ Emos (9/1)

Date Thursday, Sept. 1st
Location Emos
Doors 900p
Tickets $8 from Ticketweb

This year I seem to be in the mood to really rock, or at least to mildly rock, in so much as I just can’t go full-on metal.  That being said, one of the band’s I’ve really enjoyed is NY’s The Men (not to be confused with the Le Tigre side-project).  They’ll be bringing their bit of raucous noise our way in support of their latest album Leave Home, which came out earlier this year on Sacred Bones. Also, another excellent band on the bill is Grave Babies, who have just put out a nice little 7″ by our dear friends over at Hardly Art.  As the season begins to really pick up steam for rock n’ roll, this is just as good a place as any to get your rocks on.


Download: The Men – Bataille [MP3]

The Dutchess and the Duke – She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke

Rating: ★★★★½

Before giving in to a dear friend’s suggestion, I hadn’t heard much about The Dutchess and the Duke.  Sometimes a lack of knowledge is precisely what you need to come across a brand new album with open arms, awaiting the approach of greatness.  Thanks Corey.

Here is some background information, though limited.  The band hails from Seattle, although they resemble very little of that signature sound.  Currently, they are touring our nation in support of Fleet Foxes.  Apparently, they’ve been friends for a long time.  That’s about all I’ve come across.

The opening “Reservoir Park” immediately brings to mind the Rolling Stones, which isn’t a bad place to start off an album.  The chorus, with dual harmonies, is absolutely perfect.  I believe that this song is going to be in my Top 5 Singles of the year.  I’ve placed it their already.

After opening appropriately, they switch it up–they go off sounding more like a product of Nashville or Louisville, filled with American traditional country pop goodness. The interplay between Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison on the following songs is precisely what makes this so special. I feel like it’s everything that She and Him were built up to be, but here it’s much more real–much more authentic.

“Strangers” has them returning to that Stones flavor.  It’s everything you want in a song, with both singers harmonizing the whole way through the song.  There isn’t a bad thing to say here.  And they follow that up with “Back to Me,” a song about trying to recapture that great love of your life.  Sure, its cliche, but the earnestness wins you over.

And all of a sudden, they bust out the ghost, well soul really, of Bob Dylan.  “Mary” is the perfect song at this moment because it switches the sound, though not too much.  The band maintains their personality here, keeping the album interesting.  This band has an arsenal of classic musicians to reference, but never once does it feel as if they faked it.

The album closes with “Armageddon Song,” which, for me, is the exact ending I wanted to this album.  It’s an acoustic affair full of harmonies and whistling–its the song where they seem as if they’ve completely shed their influences, just to let you in closer to themselves.

Despite wearing their heroes on their sleeves, The Dutchess and the Duke have created a wonderful debut album; this is one that is sure to hold up as one of your favorites for a long time to come.  Don’t take my word on it; please please please listen.


Download: reservoir_park.mp3

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