Thursday 17 Apr
CD reviews

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0

SXSW: Buffalo Lounge: Mont Lyons / Pretty Black Chains

Rock rock rock rock

By Stephen Carradini March 13th, 2012

Pretty Black Chains.
Credits: Stephen Carradini

Mont Lyons pounds out a gritty, shadowy rock'n'roll. Tension rumbles in their songs, but doesn't quite boil: Instead of finishing with a pounding, all-cymbals rush, a high, keening note eerily faded off into the distance. The vocals work within this framework, pushing the boundaries of the tension without ever really spilling over into all-out attack mode. That's the type of sound that Mont Lyons cultivates: low-to-the-ground, punchy tunes with a deep sense of tension. The keys offer a dreamy counterpoint to some of the tension, but we all know that dreams can be more tense than reality itself.

The Pretty Black Chains sound different each time I hear them: this year's model is a three-piece with a heavily Led Zeppelin-influenced sound. The band trafficks in tension too, but in a much different way: they play the ups and downs, building and breaking down parts for greatest effect. The riff is all, but Pretty Black Chains doesn't just place the riff front and center every time. It's awesome when they do, but it's not all they do. The rhythm section is quite heavy and low, providing a thunderous backdrop for the riffs to lie down on. The vocals are less of a centerpiece than in previous incarnations of the band, but this allows for increased interplay between the three instruments.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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