I’m sure you missed our weekly re-runs of all the fun stuff we post, but I was on vacation! So, I hurried this week to play catch up on all those tunes, then hurried with RayRay to get them up for your ears. We had tons of stuff covered, from ATX faves A Giant Dog to a premiere of the new track from Pretty in Pink; there was nothing short of a bunch of bangers to run…and some aren’t even up on the DSPs, so we couldn’t get those in the list. Anyways…peruse the hits below, go back and read what we had to say, or don’t, just be sure to enjoy yourself a bit.
If you have yet to catch on to Austin’s Rad Gnar, let me hip you the group with this fresh track, “Scene.” The group is a fairly recent project, featuring members of Big Bill and Basketball Shorts, so you know there’s going to be a bit of a punk mentality; we’re close with various members too, so we know how important guitar-monies are too, which you’ll hear soaring throughout this track. As I press play again and again, I keep thinking of it as a mixture of early Saves the Day and Alkaline Trio…and I don’t mind that one bit. But, before you pass judgment, take a listen to the melodic break in the song’s middle, illustrating just how much the group have to offer in their sound. You may be too cool for pop punk, but you’re never too cool for great musicianship. Keep an eye out!
You’d think in a short coverage week, we’d have few tunes, but there was so much great stuff last week, that we couldn’t help but to try and cover as much as we loved. Personally, I fawned over new Lachlan Denton, Cor de Luxand Tiny Ruins, plus continued my support for Spice World as Album of the Year. I also hit up the Austin scene with new stuff from Bayonne, Dorio, Fantastic Purple Spotsand Rad Gnar. RayRay loved that new Pile tune to death and premiered a new Strawberry Fuzz jam you can find lurking in here too. If we missed something super cool, let us know, otherwise, here’s a way to pass an hour of your day, happily.
Our old friends in Rad Gnar are living in the same space as I am at the moment, raising young kids (with another on the way–congrats Ben!). So, as we all do, or so I think, they’re writing songs that reflect those changes, with this tune serving as a reflection of the birth of your first child and the cosmic energies that surround us all. Musically, you’re going to hear the band blend heavier pop rock a la Superchunk with little elements of pop-punk and emo thrown in to create this huge ripping sound; it’s filled with yearning in the vocals and giant guitar-monies, so feel free to fall in love. You can find this track on the group’s Dead Strings EP.
We hit it hard last week, mostly because we’re gearing up to see how this whole SXSW thing goes down. Plus, there were tons of new songs dropping everywhere. Two of my favorite Austin artists, Rad Gnar and Twain (he’s from Austin now dammit!) dropped new tracks, so that rules. Plus, the Jeanines dropped what might be the best pop song of the year, though the Stereogum comment section likely disagrees. We’re also including all the jams from artists we talked to that are heading our way for SXSW this year, so check tracks from the likes of Paul Jacobs, Phebe Starr, Teke Teke and more!
Our friends in Rad Gnar definitely have kept themselves busy throughout the last year, and I’m going out on a limb and tossing this new single as one of the best tunes they’ve put together. There’s a little moog action running through, so grabs on to a little of this sort late 90s emo or even-Rentals vibes in there. But, for a band dedicated to keeping the spirit of punk and skating alive, they still manage to spin a bit of heavy riffage and guitar-mony work into their songs; this gives the band the perfect balance of hard edge and sugary sweetness, keeping you coming back time and time again. Look for the Dead Strings EP from the band this today!
Rad Gnar is one of the new local Austin acts making waves on our end; there’s some ATH lineage too, as the band features one of the Ben’s of Basketball Shorts. But, while there’s some punk ethos working through the song’s lyrical content, you’ve also got to catch on to the hook-laden riffs tearing through your speaker walls. And, if you know Ben, you know of his allegiance to the cult of Built to Spill, which definitely plays a role in his songwriting here, using those riff structure and weaving them through the fabric of emo/punk. Rumor has it that there’s an EP on its way really really soon!
Sometimes bands you love break-up, or move away and that’s just the way life goes. For me, that’s what happened with our beloved Basketball Shorts, who we worked with for their Hot n’ Ready LP. Now, guitarist Bench has a new band, Rad Gnar, and he’s taking on the vocal duties here too! The band’s first single from their forthcoming LP is filled with these huge crunchy rifts, as one would expect from his previous work. But, I really love the way he leaves his vocals hanging, letting the notes rise, then fall back down to your ears with those classic hooks! On May 18th the group will drop Rad Gnar, their self-titled debut, but if you want to catch them early…they have a show at Cheer Up Charlies on April 30th!