New Gem from Death Songs

I’ve really enjoyed the work of the Shaky Hands, so I’m happy to introduce you to Death Songs, the projects of Nathan and Nicholas of the aforementioned group.  They’ve just released a self-titled 10″, and it’s full of low-key country-fied jams. This track sounds a bit like early Conor Oberst with a gently strummed guitar to go along with it.  Having listened to the whole collection, I’m quite pleased to tell you it’s full of great tracks just like this one, so go ahead, you can thank me now for introducing you to these guys.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/05-Water-In-The-Eyes-Of-Man.mp3]

Download: Death Songs – Water In The Eyes Of Man [MP3]

Chaos in Tejas

chaosThe great thing about Austin is that we get the benefit of having our local promoters put together amazing weeks of shows, and this week, Chaos in Tejas proves just that point.  Sure, the bands might be a little bit on the harder/faster/heavier side of things, but there are some great bands; just check out these names: Ted Leo, The Thermals, Harvey Milk, Propaghandi, Strange Boys, Times New Viking, The Business and The Shaky Hands.  All bands that deserve your time and attention…not to mention the other great bands that will grace the stage along the whole Red River district.  A detailed list of shows and venues can be found here.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/03-under-the-hedge.mp3]

Download: Ted Leo – Under the Hedge [MP3]

The Shaky Hands – Lunglight

Rating: ★★★★☆

Lately it seems that the world has gone completely soft, or at least the spectrum of rock n’ roll has gone soft.  We desperately need a band that can grab us and shake the dust from our record collections.  The Shaky Hands appear to be that band, and their album Lunglight is just a taste of what they have to offer.

Opening track, “A New Parade” comes off with jangly pop affection, as pounding drums drive the song towards the end.  The vocals are a little raspy, with just a tinge of countrification a la Kings of Leon.

The band name is quite fitting, considering the sounds on this album have a sort of shakiness that can only be associated with pure, unadulterated rock.  It has this post-punk feeling to it, but fused with a country soul, and stirred with just the right amount of pop sensibility.  Although they carry such a signature sound, the album never seems to get old, always maintaining a sense of freshness in each song.

Lyrically, it seems that the album is filled with issues of struggle.  In today’s world we come across such battles between friends, lover and, ultimately, ourselves.  Understanding this, The Shaky Hands have set out to let us know that we are not alone in our daily issues; they, too, are confronting these demons.  If such battles must be fought, then we shall do it together.

And, the percussion is simply amazing here.  The drum work is all over the place, hammered out with precision that only comes to the those with the most devout practice routines.  You’ll find it difficult not to bounce your feet along to the driving rhythms here, which is at it should be with rock n’ roll.

Faults do exist on Lunglight, but they are things that can easily be overlooked.  The last three songs, for instance, extend over a minute longer than the previous songs, which has the effect of dragging the last moments of the record to the end. Also, it’s hard to completely buy into the vocals here.  Yes, they are reminiscent of other acts, as mentioned earlier, but at times you’ll find it hard to chase down the words.

In the end you will find that the band has created an album full of bright moments you can listen to time and time again.  Those who fall in line with bands like Kings of Leon (thats you RayRay) will surely find that great album you’ve been waiting for KoL to finally put out.