Wednesday 16 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: Wild Belle / Zulu Winter

Chill reggae/indie-pop and atmospheric dance-rock

By Stephen Carradini March 17th, 2012

After a break for dinner and a passing stop at Matt Corby's set (that dude can wail), we headed to Antone's to hear Glen Hansard (of the movie Once and the band Swell Seasons). Before he took the stage, we were treated to Wild Belle and Zulu Winter.

Wild Belle's set was an impressive mix of female vocals, reggae, and indie-pop. Much like David Ramirez, the songs introduced an infectious mood to the room; in contrast to the former artist, Wild Belle's mood was one of good times and chill vibes. The band was incredibly professional, putting the music before their image. Even though they had a beautiful woman as their lead singer, they respectfully didn't play this element up in their visual or musical identity; she was a member of the band like the rest of the members. This is refreshing in the pop music world.

Their songs were augmented by keys and some tasteful electronic elements; it was clear that the rhythm and overall texture of the piece was more important than any one sound. They succeeded in that endeavor, creating a tight set that left everyone in a good mood.

Zulu Winter quickly set up and capitalized on the audience's good mood. LCD Soundsystem was a clear touchstone for the band's sound, as the bass guitar and atmospheric synths played a huge role in their dance-rock. The band's songs created interesting tensions, which is a fundamental element of good dance-rock; the drums, bass and guitar often played off each other. The vocalist had a solid set of pipes, but the main draw was the instruments; to this end, I would have liked to hear more instrumental interplay and less vocals.

But on the whole, it was a fun set that had some in the audience shimmying, and I was happy to have seen it. I'll keep a close ear to their music to see if they will develop into the band that takes up LCD Soundsystem's mantle as the thinking-man's dance band.

Photos by Matt Carney

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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