Wednesday night Austin Town Hall was blessed to catch a very intimate show at The Mohawk featuring Seattle’s The Dutchess and the Duke. Due to recent highlights of their debut album, we expected to find more people in attendance at the show, but luckily, the small crowd played into the overall experience. (Show review and pics after the jump)
I went to The Mohawk Friday night in anticipation of a solid rock show, and for the most part, I got what I asked for that evening. Now, did it all go off successfully, or was I dully rocked to sleep? I’m not sure still. Let me explain. (Show review and pictures after the jump).
If you are looking for a night of classic indie pop from some well-established bands then you should head out to The Mohawk tomorrow night! Smoking Popes are headlining, along with Koufax, who used to be heralded as one of indie-pop’s greats. Not to mention, you will get to see the local Austin band, Masonic. It’s sure to be a good night of classic pop tunes in the vein of the indie realm. Koufax should be debuting some new material, which has the possibility of being surprisingly good. See for yourself.
Doors to the show open at 8 PM, and you can purchase $10 tickets to the show.
Check out the song “If You Don’t Care” below:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/smoking_popes_if_you_dont_care.mp3]
Download: Smoking Popes – If You Dont Care [MP3]
Throughout this summer, music fans have mostly been greeted by mellower forms of tunes, with an absence of rock coming our ways–and by this, I mean the kind of music with loud guitars and banging drums. Well folks, Oxford Collapse wants to change that.
As the car peels out in “Electric Arc,” the drums come banging in your ears. Soon, the guitar will join this fray, and off the band goes. It’s hard not to feel your heart beating a little quicker in this song. Nice start boys.
They follow that up with another short song full of angular guitars and simple melodies, but its done just the right way, throwing the band back to the classic post-punk sounds of the mid-90s–a la Braid and Jawbreaker. Then they come with a tension building song in “Vernon Jackson,” which builds up continuously through the song, only to have the band slow it down in the end as the song begins to fade out. It’s clear by this point that they have enough control over themselves to pull back the reigns at just the right time.
They just keep going from here, pushing their guitars into your ears, as the drums pound away. Oxford Collapse sound tighter than they have, and a lot more comfortable as well, which may be why they claim “we’re doing fine” in “Young Love Delivers.” But, then they throw a change up. “A Wedding” slows things down, and sounds as if they took a cue from Final Fantasy, using string instruments to back the strength of their vocals. Its a good breathing point.
Then they go right back to it–walls of feedback thrown right back into your face as they continue their rocking onslaught. For me, they seem really straightforward with their approach, and they don’t seem to go off into the distance of atmospherics and noise as they did on their last album.
Towards the end, they start to switch it up, and its for the betterment of the album. “Children’s Crusade” is a brilliant song, and one that will probably make a lot of my mixes throughout the year. “John Blood” similarly slows things down, at least during the chorus, where a female chants her way through the chorus. Still, there is enough guitar work on this song, to make it border between rocker and ballad. “B Roll” also takes a gentler approach, but that approach is matched again by the tension building of the guitar work. I do wish that this time, they just would have unleashed that guitar completely, but for me, this is their first misstep.
They close it off with “I Hate Nobody” which isn’t immediately gratifying, but as you work your way through the end of the song, it wraps up the album perfectly. Anguished guitars fueled by the deliberately dense drumming, and finally, you can breathe. It’s over.
It’s hard to find much wrong with this record. Personally, I think the mix on the vocals had some issues in a few places, but for the most part, I just went along with the album. It’s enjoyable as you follow around each of the corners and twists and turns. Let’s hope for more rock like this as we wrap up 2008.
Oxford Collapse returns to Austin on August 27th at The Mohawk, but as of yet, tickets are not readily available.
Have a listen to a new song from their album:[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/birthdaywars.mp3]
Download: Oxford Collapse – Birthday Wars [MP3]
Brooklyn’s finest dance/pop band Chairlift have some new music for your listening pleasure. The song is called “Evident Utensil” and will be seen on the band’s newest album Does You Inspire You due out on November 11th October 28th. The band will also be stopping by our little town on August 9th at The Mohawk with tour mates Ariel Pink. Tickets for the event are sold only at the door. Mark your calendar![audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/evidentutensil.mp3]
Download: Chairlift – Evident Utensil [MP3]
Well, apparently we have a lot going on this Saturday. To add to our list of events, this is a party that has been going on in Austin for the last few years. Everyone Knows Everyone features a slew of Austin favorites, including our personal faves Rory and the Artificial Hearts, Young Love, The Visitors and Recover. There are several other bands playing this little shindig (click here for more information from Transmission Entertainment); it doesn’t hurt that it’s at one of our favorite local spots, The Mohawk.
You can buy tickets for the show from FrontGate – it’s only 8 bucks.