Thursday 31 Jul
CD reviews

Power Pyramid - Power Pyramid

Power Pyramid doesn’t have much patience for nonsense. That appears to be the takeaway from the Oklahoma City quintet’s last 10 months, which brought The God Drums in September, the Insomnia EP in January and its latest, self-titled effort in July.

07/29/2014 | Comments 0

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

SXSW: Gold Beach / Avalanche City

Pensive indie rock and enthusiastic acoustic pop

By Stephen Carradini March 16th, 2012

Gold Beach
Credits: Stephen Carradini

Gold Beach's indie-rock has a pensive, moody sound that is often associated with The National. It's a pretty hip sound right now, but Gold Beach pulls it off well. They augment the usual instruments with a cello, and that makes a big difference in their sound. They also have M83-esque keys in some tunes, making for some unique textures. Their closer "Skin of Yours" used both elements to great effect, creating a memorable, evocative tune.

Avalanche City is one of my favorite bands, so I was stoked to be able to see them at SXSW. They're from New Zealand, so it's not every day that I'm able to swing out and catch a show. (Although they are touring with fun. after their run here at SXSW, so maybe I will be able to see them more often!) The trio composes charming, enthusiastic, beautiful music out of instruments that should give away their style: acoustic guitar, two glockenspiels, accordion, banjolin, keys and vocals from both genders. Imagine all the indie glee of Death Cab for Cutie's Transatlanticism funneled into indie-folk arrangements, and you're near where Avalanche City lands.

Avalanche City
Credits: Stephen Carradini

Their songs are almost all love songs, but not in the sappy, goopy sort of way. They're all tied into the love of life, adventures (their album is Our New Life Above the Ground), and seeing the world through a wide-eyed wonder. Their upbeat melodies are instantly arresting, and their arrangements are beautifully executed. I sung along with almost every tune, and had a blast. The band sounds just as good live as they do on record, even with the slightly modified arrangements. It was in the top five best sets I've seen at SXSW so far. If you're a fan of happy music, acoustic music, Ingrid Michaelson, or charming indie twee-type stuff, apply within. They're on my list of bands that will be maxing out SXSW showcases next year.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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