Austin Town Hall Loves Sports…the band (and sports)

sportsEvery time I listen to a track from Sports, especially this latest single, I can’t help but recall all the promise I felt Rilo Kiley had on their first few albums.  It’s got lyrics you’ll find wrapping themselves around you, but ultimately it has this pop sensibility tightly wound beneath a hint of punk rock…or at least pop punk.  All of Something is the title of their new effort, which will be released on October 30th via Father Daughter Records. We’ve had a slew of the band’s singles before this, and we continue to fall in love with the band. Just try another on for size.

More Indie Rock From Sports

unnamedA few short weeks ago, Nathan shared with you a single from a band by the name of Sports and today I’m here to throw another indie rock gem at you from this group of youngsters. “The Washing Machine” is a nice little track from the band’s upcoming record, All Of Something, which is due out October 30th on Father/Daughter Records, and it features some of the jubilant indie rock that you may have already heard from the first single the band put out, but whereas that track was all out rock, this one packs a bit of sentimentality to it. Don’t get me wrong, the song still packs a punch, but the vocals have a softer sound to them– as the lead singer Carmen Perry pushes her voice to those high peaks, you’ve gotta appreciate the sugary sweetness.

I’m Digging Sports

sportsI love real sports, but this is referencing Sports, the band, who’ve just signed on with Father Daughter Records to release their Sophomore album.  It’s a short blast of indie rock, bordering on the line between me and pop-punk; it reminds me of what Rilo Kiley might have been had they gone in a completely different direction.  In just over a minute, you’re tapping your feet, trying to sing along, all the while grinning with enjoyment. Their new effort, All of Something will be out on October 30th.  You have a minute? Enjoy your sports!

Weekend – Sports

Rating: ★★ · · ·

Slumberland has been fortunate enough to have always stayed true to their original sound aesthetic as a label while still offering up a diverse clientele for their audience.  Enter San Franciscos’ Weekend, another group offering up a noisy debut, fueled by certain sonic and textural elements we’ve all come to recognize.  Their album Sports does have certain touches of diversity when compared to the grand spectrum of things, yet those modifiers that make them relevant often seem to get in the way of the progress they offer as a group.

Listening to the first track, “Coma Summer,” you almost get the idea that this might just be a nice little pop number, as the song’s intro includes a nice pounding drum and jangling guitar.  Still, the echo in the background has a haunting quality, and as the song pushes forward, that quality explodes into buzzsaw guitars that practically obliterate any chance of vocal comprehension.  Underlying melody is all well and good folks, but if you don’t allow room for breathing, then what’s the point?

Clearly, the scope of the record does have some lyrical value, but it often seems to have evolved as an afterthought to the completed musical process for Weekend.  “Youth Haunts” has this brooding bass work that really propels the song forward, but as guitars knife their way discordantly through the song, the vocals appear very distant, as if they were recorded separately, then spliced onto the tape in another session altogether.  Similarly, “Landscape” has that certain appeal one would find in the early days of Manchester, yet part of you probably feels a driving need to connect with the vocals themselves.  That’s probably one of the great difficulties with Sports; you either connect with the noise itself, or you’re spending your time chasing after the lyrical content.  One of the things that made bands like Joy Division so successful was their ability to bring you that connection, offering up vocals that could be discerned, while still piling noise into the whole affair.

One might find themselves extremely frustrated with Weekend by the end of this whole affair, as there are clearly elements that seem successful in their own merit, such as the track “Age Class.” Once again, the rhythm section practically owns the song, giving you this animalistic power that only increases the tension as the song progresses.  Normally, there would be some sort of release, some sort of resolution, but Sports just never offers that sort of cleansing moment.  Perhaps that is where my listening habits have gone wrong; I’m not capable of connecting both the sounds of this record and the vocals in order to decipher the message, song by song, let alone the whole album.  While plenty of elements suggest the conceptual ideas throughout the entire listen, for some reason, the band’s purpose just never seems to fully evolve, leaving listener’s, myself in particular, asking for more from the group. I suppose you can leave this all up to personal tastes, but despite lots of pleasurable listening moments, it just never seemed to complete its journey, leaving me interested, yet entirely unfulfilled.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01-Coma-Summer-1.mp3]

Download: Weekend – Coma Summer [MP3]

New Music from Weekend

Don’t you just feel like you need a bath in some noise rock?  Well, Weekend just might provide you with that, but they aren’t content to just let squalls of feedback remain as their lone impression.  They’ve got driving bass grooves, and first single “Coma Summer” keeps a bit of melody courtesy of singer Shaun Durkan’s soft voice.  Their album Sports will hit the streets on November 9th via Slumberland, and rest assured that the album is worth every bit of the excitement generated by early press.  Be careful, this is going to be loud.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/01-Coma-Summer-1.mp3]

Download: Weekend – Coma Summer [MP3]