I’ve talked about Finland’s Sonic Visions here before, and we’re fortunate enough to be able to bring you the stream of their Lost in Between EP a week before its release on Soliti Music. The band seems to have found the perfect place where the pop sensibility of early Oasis meets the cascading noise of Jesus and the Mary Chain. It’s not quite shoegaze, yet not quite full Brit pop…it really does live in between the two, which should definitely captivate listeners all across the globe. It’s a short collection that I’m sure is more than worth your listening time, and in fact, it’s actually required (by me). Go ahead, get ready for a great musical treat.
This new track from The Proper Ornaments starts immediately, wrapping you up in the warmth of the band’s approach immediately. There’s a really nice contrast in the vocals, sounding sedate during the verses, with a bit of a brighter tone in the chorus (which totally sounds like a nod to Oasis by the way). Songs like this, steady and impactful have really made huge waves in this neck of the indie sphere, so we aware that everyone will eventually come around to praise these guys. Look for their new LP, Foxhole, on January 20th via Slumberland Records.
Sometimes with all the hype makings its way over the waves of the Atlantic, we don’t always get to hear about the hard working bands that deserve some love. Luckily for you, I’m going to introduce you to Entertainment, a British band that recalls slight hints of Dinosaur Jr., but also more mainstream acts like Oasis. Perhaps I’m way off on that, and hopefully the band doesn’t take it as a slight, but for me, the melding of those two sounds works perfectly here. There’s anthemic vocals, but distorted cascading guitars that ring loudly in your earbuds. Definitely a band worth your time today.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/01-Me-You.mp3]
Download:Entertainment – Me & You
Long before you had the trendy Britpop scene that exploded with the likes of Blur and Oasis (though Pulp was clearly the best!), you had another scene, sort of the Godfather scene to Britpop. It was Madchester, rooted in the town of Manchester (where the best team in England plays). The style combined a little bit of house DJ music with straight rock n’ roll. And head of the movement…The Stone Roses.
Not only did they release one of the most flawless albums of the 1980s with their self titled Stone Roses debut, but they did it whilst creating an entirely new mode of fashion (baggy), which I suppose we can blame for the invention of Jncos. Hands down, this was the first Britpop group to make it big, but like most bands of that ilk, they quickly faded into obscurity.
We bring you the group this week, as this marks the anniversary of their debut, and as such, that album is getting the Redux treatment; it’s been remastered, and it includes a selection of demos and unreleased songs to boot. Trust me, this band deserves your love, so go dig in the closet and break out The Stone Roses.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/09-Made-Of-Stone.mp3]
The 24 songs that make up Communion, the sixth LP (a double album) by stalwart Swedish throwback rockers The Soundtrack Of Our Lives (TSOOL), clock in at more than an hour-and-a-half. In theory, (and given the immediacy of modern acquiring and listening habits), the very notion of the double album is not only outdated, but a pompous statement of intent.
While there seems no discernible concept running through Communion that facilitates its length, it’s no small feat that the album coalesces as a whole. More than that, its songs offer enough surprises – and subtlety – to not just invite the listener, but warrant repeated exploration.
Splitting the difference between raucous Who-style garage jams (“Universal Stalker,” “Distorted Child”), and melodic Kinks and Sgt. Peppers-influenced songs (“Thrill Me,” “Pictures of Youth,” “Flipside”), Communion manages to maintain an identity of its own without too egregiously displaying its influences. At times TSOOL can sound a little too close to current bands mining the same rock history territory, (“Babel On” and “RA 88” are dead ringers for Black Rebel Motorcycle Club) and the nod to their friends in Oasis – or The Bees (adept in their own right at delving fully into the past – is evident on “Flipside.”
But despite its pomp, and the debts it owes, the distortion-soaked “Saturation,” and the delicate “Pineal Gland Hotel” and “Without Warning,” among others, show moments of clear, singular beauty. With an album this long there are bound to be throwaways, but rather than focusing on the occasional missteps, Communion is a rare treat: an album that warrants a start-to-finish listen, no matter how long the trip.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/the-soundtrack-of-our-lives-flipside.mp3]
Download: The Soundtrack of Our Lives – Flipside [MP3]
We here at Austin Town Hall recently had the good fortune of sitting down with Greg Saunier of indie rock/pop outfit Deerhoof. Greg and I cover things ranging from his feelings about Oasis to his band’s hard to pin down sound. Follow the jump to read the entire interview.
It’s been quite some time since anyone has given serious consideration to Austin’s And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, but it seems like the local boys are rearing up to put out another new album. In order to prepare us all for this new venture, the band has offered up a short four song EP titled Festival Thyme.
Since their last album So Divided, they seem to have lost a little bit of credibility in the music world, as other keep wishing for a rehash of the phenomenal Source Tags and Codes. Let’s face it, this is not the same band, not by a long shot.
The opening track, “Bells of Creation,” has an enormous sound, filled to the brim with swelling guitar sounds piled upon the backs of simple piano tracks. It’s a much more mainstream approach to the writing process, which we’ve witnessed from these men before, but the chorus is as brash as anything they’ve done before now. Did he just say “I felt like Satan?” Surely that will get your attention, at least for all you Satan lovers.
“Inland Sea” is the next track on the EP, and once again you see that the band has moved into a much larger scale sound. The ever-present piano serves as the focal point for this song, as the band moves in and out of the song. For some reason the vocals, with their emo-tendencies kind of grab at my heart strings. It’s the same sound as before; it just sounds strangely different.
The final musical track on here, “Festival Thyme” is actually one of the better songs I’ve heard from the band, especially in their most recent years. It definitely has a post-punk leaning towards Oasis sound, which takes a minute to get used to at first, but give this song a chance.
In fact, give this band a chance. Sure, they’ve moved on from their origins, or what we deem origins, but who is to say that a band cannot grow up and move forward. They’ve missed a few steps in the past, but they are still here trying to push on back against the masses. That, and you’ve gotta love a band based in Austin, Texas. Here’s to new ground for this well respected band.
And, the artwork is ridiculous. Ridiculous and good.