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: Holy Fiction / The Tontons

Sweeping chamber-pop and Motown power

By Stephen Carradini March 19th, 2012

Holy Fiction
Credits: Stephen Carradini

After the energetic blast of Whiskey Shivers, Holy Fiction calmed the room with their spacious art-pop. The band composes sweeping, room-filling tunes without heavy instrumental trappings; while the band include a violinist, the string contributions were never overly featured. The violinist instead contributed to the atmosphere, the goal of many Holy Fiction songs. Synth washes, guitar, drums and bass added to the sound, but none particularly was featured. The song is all for Holy Fiction, and as a result it was easy to sit back and let the songs surround me.

The songs were not all mid-tempo; a few incorporated more upbeat elements such as dance-rock drumbeats. Even a single change can push Holy Fiction's tightly constructed songs in a different and interesting directions, so the upbeat elements were welcome. The set was a strong one, and I thoroughly enjoyed it (although in a very different way than I enjoyed the two previous bands!). Fans of Other Lives, Shearwater and Radical Face will also enjoy the tunes of Holy Fiction. (Bonus: Holy Fiction has at least one member from defunct Oklahoma band Ethan Durelle.)

The Tontons
Credits: Stephen Carradini

Houston's The Tontons took the stage after Holy Fiction, serving up a blend of Motown and psych-rock that went down smooth. The central point of the band was the female vocalist, who cooed, cawed, sang and danced her way through the set. She never stopped moving her arms, waving them sinuously to accentuating the mood and timbre of her vocals. She was a mesmerizing presence, commanding all attention. I took a couple shots of the other three members of the band, but it was hard to tear my eyes from the lead singer. Her poise,  composure and power simply drew me in. The songs were solid, as well, but seeing them performed is simply incredible.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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