Show Preview: Real Estate @ the Parish (11/16)

Date Wednesday, Nov. 16th
Location The Parish
Doors 800 pm
Tickets $13 from Frontgate

I have no idea how this show hasn’t sold out as of Monday night.  Opening the night is Big Troubles, who’ve released their Romantic Comedy just recently, and it’s done fairly well with the fans, not to mention this writer.  That alone warrants attendance, yet the big headliner is Real Estate. These kids have pretty much dominated the news headlines all over the Internet since their inception, and the band’s October release of Days, got all sorts of praise.  This is the type of show people dream about, so go on and get yourself a ticket.  Oh, and to top it off, it all gets played through the amazing sound of the Parish; now if I could only get them to lower their beer prices!

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/03-Its-Real.mp3]

Download: Real Estate – It’s Real [MP3]

Big Troubles – Romantic Comedy

Rating: ★★★ · ·

What happens if you remove a bit of fuzz in the production process?  You get a breezy pop gem like Romantic Comedy.  It’s the second record from Big Troubles, and their first from Slumberland Records.  All those looking for a brighter vocal sound, but with the same general feel as the group’s first outing, will certainly be pleased.

You can definitely hear the polish in opening track, “She Smiles for Pictures,” as the guitars have sort of an angular bounce. Vocally, there’s a nice bit of soft comfort in the delivery, sort of like what you’d expect an American Teenage Fanclub to sound like.  But, it’s the next track that will force you to stand on one side of the track or the other.

“Misery,” for all intents and purposes is Pains of Being Pure Heart lite.  Get rid of the scuzz from the aforementioned band’s debut, and you’ve got little gem.  However, I like the fact that the vocals are so clean and clear; it’s something you don’t normally associate with a PoBPaH record, so for me it wins.  Yet, I can see it being derivative, but weren’t the Pains originally the same thing? Perhaps some people grow up faster.  “Sad Girls” is similar here, providing a hint of soft-bit swagger, but the vocals during the chorus are what allow the band to differentiate themselves, sounding much different than the nearest comparison.

Personally, I really like the straight pop gems, such as “Softer Than Science,” which has a bit of the Lucksmiths sense of melody.  There’s a pounding bit of drum work, and the guitars are definitely sharpened.  But, there’s a nice bit of restraint in this number, letting the band focus on their harmonies.  It’s a song that contradicts its successor, “Time Bomb,” the closest track you could call a straight ahead rocker.  The noisy solo in the end definitely reminds you of those 90s guitar moments we’ve all come to treasure.

Yet, Big Troubles faces sort of a problem in the long run.  Romantic Comedy, while definitely enjoyable, wears down listeners quiet quickly.  You’ll likely go from really enjoying the whole record, then the magic begins to fade a bit.  It’s not entirely their fault, as we’ve just been bogged down with so many like-minded records in the last few years.  In order for you to be the best, you’ve got to rise above the rest, and I’m just not entirely convinced the band accomplished that feat.  Still, a good listen from start to finish.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Big-Troubles-Misery.mp3]

Download: Big Troubles – Misery [MP3]

New Music from Big Troubles

This band is one of those that I’ve really been jamming to lately, going back to their last record from 2010, and looking forward to the new one they’ll be releasing.  Romantic Comedy, the new record from Big Troubles, will be released by Slumberland on September 27th, and it’s probably going to be a pretty big deal around the ATH offices.  This new track has a bit of that softness that’s often associated with their label, but I hear Jason Quever of Papercuts in the vocals–not a bad thing in my book, by the way.  Should be another good outing from the group.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Big-Troubles-Sad-Girls.mp3]

Download: Big Troubles – Sad Girls [MP3]

New Song from Big Troubles

I had heard about the signing of Big Troubles while stalking Slumberland Records (as you can see I’ve been doing today!).  I’d been keeping my eye on these kids since their debut, Worry, came out, so I’m excited to see that September 27th we can celebrate the arrival of Romantic Comedy.  Clearly, there’s a bit of youthfulness going on with this band, which enables them to sort of take dead aim at crafting pop gems with earnest, without having to endure backlash about who or what they were influenced by during the writing process. Smoky vocals placed lightly atop sharp bending guitar lines make this worthy of repeated listens.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Big-Troubles-Misery.mp3]

Download: Big Troubles – Misery [MP3]