Wednesday 23 Jul
CD reviews

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

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | 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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