This band does nice three piece rock stuff; not minimalistic or stupid, but simple. The guitar tends to jump around a lot and the vocals generally sit between the guitar and bass.
The first song, “dewdropper” is kind of uptempo but minor sounding. It opens with a real nice chord Riff, and the verses have cool rhythmic vocals. The chorus sounds good but has some weird sounding octave up vocals that broke the tension a little too much
The next song “Mustard Gas” is one of the strongest melodies on the album, and from a guitar point of view is a big change. It's all pretty sounding open chord stuff. The background vocals sound great on this one, the whistling solo sounds a little out though.
“Crawlers” the guitar changes again now doing fuzzy power chord stuff, and the vocals kind of remind me early Against Me! (Think maybe Jordan’s first choice) it has a nice, big, and open chorus, and lots of build ups.
The fourth song is called “Fantasies: Feels part 1” it opens strong with quick flatpicked chord apregiation. Lots of dramatic build-ups again, but with more guitar parts in this song than in the previous ones.
“Fuss” has a cool late 90’s alt-punk feel; it kind of reminds me of bands like Eve6 or Lit. This one is more of a whole band song, but there are two really cool riffs in it, one in the verse that's a moving chord part following the vocal and the other in the bridge/ solo toward the end, which is also a moving chord part, but this time with a little more freedom.
The next song “Cherry Lies” has probably the best vocal part on the record. It's a listing part, quick rhythms on the phrases, and into a big chorus with good alliteration sounds.
“Breakfast for the Selfish” is a departure. It starts with a vocal doing a siren sound, then acoustic guitar and vocals followed by cello, and then more of the string type embellishments associated with the late 60’s. Think “Elenor Rigby” or “Ruby Tuesday” I kind of expected the vocal siren sound from the beginning to happen again as a background vocal and I was kind of disappointed when it didn't. I think that would have been a nice effect like in the Pixies “Where is My Mind?”
Next we're on “Feels pt.2” Which has some very cool melodies, that make huge sections sound like one big chorus.
“Pocket Lint” has some great drumming. There are a lot of good parts on this one. The instrumental post-chorus we hear the bass step up to melody against rhythmic guitar parts. The bridge is a neat slow build up with a guitar riff that's reminiscent of the Riff that opens the album on “Dewdropper”
The Final song starts with some lo-fi guitar stuff then the bass enters second filling it out. Great harmony vocals, cool ascending octaves. I’m kind of reminded of Dinosaur Jr. on some of parts of this one, And on the vocals at some parts I'm reminded of early Against Me!, but there are some very cool vocal layers toward the end that are one of the biggest highlights.
Great record overall, the songs are well written and stand apart from each other, and instrumentally have good continuity while changing basically every song, and sometimes going back for sounds again later. WKC.
So this week I want to tell ya'll about a record by one of my personal favorite Texas Bands: TOMA from Austin. The band's lineup is Keys, Drums, Bass, and Guitar with multiple members who sing.
Their EP, which came out in March of 2015, has only seven songs, but each of them is a complete Powerhouse.
The First Song, "Fearing" is an Am rocker with Solos and Vocal harmonies all over the place. Parts of it sound very Surf. Parts of it almost Classical. The First solo (Keys) reminds me of Del Shannon's "Runaway" or "Hats Off to Larry", The second sound like it could be a quote from Toccata and Fuege. The Third Is a guitar solo with huge raunchy bends and fuzzy slides over a wash of Organ Chords. This is a Jam.
The Second song, "Maritime" sounds as chill and underwater as you might think, with smooth, fluid Guitar finger style and bendy lead running basically un-interrupted from beginning to end over a wash of ride cymbals and Organ sounds with modulating reverb. The Chorus is interesting, and very modern sounding in that the chorus is a call an response between guitar and vocal where the guitar is the call and vocal is the answer.
"Live Forever", The next song is the fist spot on the album where we start to hear more conventional Piano key and guitar chord sounds. The Vocal melody is doing most of the heavy listing on this one, including some weird key change and "borrowed chord" notes in the Chorus. The whole thing has some sweet chord changes; They're good cause they're unusual and different, but still tied together nice by the melody.
"Heartstrings" this is Probably the bands most popular song. It opens with Bass enigmatically sliding into an E over and over. Next the Guitar comes in with a riff based on an E arpeggio and some slap-back delay. The Keys and Drums come in together on a Pickup, and after a few statements, the guitar and keys drop out. The first Verse is sung by only one singer over just bass and drums at first, with the instruments reintroduced as it goes on until everyone is back, at which point it goes into a sic I, I+, vi, iv part that reminiscent of "Crying" by Roy Orbitson. The Guitar solo is fuzzy without the slap-back, very melodic, starting with a scale, some slides, then some H/o, P/o, then ending with searing octave bends, and runs right back into the Orbitson sounding build up Pre-chorus, then a quick drop off into an acapella Chorus, then finishing light and melodic.
The next song "Killers of the Cool" we get another nice guitar Hook, into a Chords and Vocal verse, mostly strummed, with a little finger style, and with a flanger. The song's bridge does a false ending leading into one of the coolest keys solos on the record. The part soars so high that I cant be sure, but I think its wandering into some dreamy whole tone stuff.
This song, "Steady" Hits you with the Flanger and finger style right up front. The Vocal melody is full of weird 4th and 5th intervals that are disconcerting a way that works really well to lead you into the changes and staccato picking in the prechorus, which in turn drops into a resolving chorus. More Augmented changes and staccato picking next. The Solo's are nice, but not the best on the record. you get some cool flanging tremolo picking action though. into a dramatic ending.
The Last Song "Once You Leave" Starts off with an intro that sounds like a bridge; very Epic, and a return to the fuzz sounds we heard a lot at the beginning of the record, and Piano sounds we had a lot of in the middle, and this combo helps tie everything up nicely. The vocal melody is long and winding; I'ts very catchy and moves on basically right after you get it in your head, a lot like some of the songs on "Chutes Too Narrow". The prechorus does some cool minor augmented thingies with flanger. After the chorus we get back to a restatement of the bridge sounding intro. The next big change is the "real bridge" which leads with the drums switching into a really prominent hip-hop beat and the keys playing with what I'm calling a glitched out swing feel. the guitar enters this replaying a previously heard finger style part before going into a reverb drenched surf solo culminating in tremolo picking and restatement over an organ wash like we heard in "Fearing".
I've spoken a lot about this record in the past and more just now so I'm not going to go into a lot of detail in closing, but suffice to say that this record is a Must-Have.
"you never noticed"
This record is great for Rock and pop Songwriting, and for cool weird empty spaces musically.
The first track "Concrete Angel" is pretty much vocals and a creepy minor guitar riff with some kind of cool stereo delay. The vocals are like a reflective storytelling thing, like a long poem, and the hook sounds like its a four part multi-track vocal.
So the second song, "Easy Tears" is a big deviation after the first being a lot of light guitar. It opens with piano in a really deep register, which sounds especially deep after the first song. Also as the song goes on we get some envelope filter arpeggiator stuff happening which is pretty awesome, and gradually there is more drum machine happening.
The Guitar comes back with a more analog sounding delay in the third song "Wash your Mouth" This song has a great, open Hook, But feels a little bit constrained. The lyrics also feel a lot more second person and direct here.
The title track "You Never Noticed" Continues a lot of the sounds from the second song, as far as synths and drums go, with the exception that it uses guitar again. This song sounds both very 90's and very 70's at the same time. The the Guitar part sounds like something Blur would do. The direct second person stuff of the lyrics and the the floor toms are in the drums sound like a lot of early 90's MTV type of rock. The synth parts here remind me of the "Future Legend" by Bowie which I think was an intro to "Diamond Dogs"
"Alsup Prayer" isn't a song in the conventional sense, but its one of the highlights of the record. The musical parts of it are an arpeggiator/ arpeggio part with some kind of ominous Cello sounding synth in the background. The Vocals are the really interesting stuff here. They're kind of just a melodic monolouge, but with harmony vocals repeating every phrase. Not totally sure if the vocals are performed with multi tracking or with a delay effect, but they sound really awesome. The song ends kind of abruptly though; I kind of expected it to run into the next song, and function as an intro.
The Last song "Diving Cruelty" Sounds like a 90's end credits of a movie song. The lyrics have some cool clever word play, and the arrangement is a cool mix of a repeating piano riff and strings mostly playing bass and drone notes, and with drums added at dramatic parts, which works well for emphasis. There are a few small Trouble spots I noticed with the vocals on this track. Basically you can hear wind on the mic at one point, and a few harmonies sound a little off. Theese really aren't that distracting though. No big deal.
Overall: I like this album. The lyrics and music are both well written and kept me engaged listening. The sounds of the songs change but also repeat every couple songs, which keeps things moving well without making all the changes strange and unexpected. The Production is good but could be better. Its currently priced at only 3.00 on bandcamp which makes it a no brainer to buy.
Cody Adams "Trance In The Martian Lounge"
This Album Is pure Psych-Rock.
The first track, "Let's Trance" is kind of Bizarre electronic stuff but a cool intro; Its not really representative of the rest of the record.
It really takes off on the second song, "Stiletto Platforms" which is very 60's in a good way, kind of has a T.Rex or Santana vibe.
"Lois B. Wilde" again sixties sounding vibe, the vocal melody kind of reminded me of the frank zappa song bobby brown. Cool guitar solo with plenty of pentatinics and pedal steel bends. Weird string and synth arrangements in the background, weirded me out, but were probably my favorite thing in the end.
"LoveSucker" is light and acoustic, big vocal hook. sounded kind of 90's Brit-popish.
"The Evening That Wouldnt Die" I thing is all layered synths. Very 80's with dotted eight delay on the synth bass. organ sounding synth part did cool weird arpeggiations.
"Invaders of The Stallion Race"
this song is an Intersteller Journey of Acoustic strumming and synth layers. Theres a tremelo on the vocals, thats pretty insane. and the background vocals sound like a tape sped up.
"Fancy Lemonade" notably more chill than the last couple songs. Parts of the lyrics are spanish. has some super 50's sounding vocal parts. and a sweet Marty Robbins solo.
"Starlene (Delicate Stranger)" starts out with a steady slow rock'n'roll groove sort of like Get Back or Come Together, then after like a minute it turns to a minor key with a crazy phaserish sound a falsetto vocals, then then it changes again to a part with chorus guitar and super ascending vocal stuff and crazy early 60's sounding background vocals, then it does some minor key stuff again, and ends with pretty chorus guitar.
"Intersteller Operator" This song reminds me of Wall era. Pink Floyd. I guess because of the solos and vocal hooks, and its a little funky. Good ending to the album with some ambient sounding stuff.
Overall: I like this album. All of the songs are good, they keep me interested, and they sound unified without running together too much. All the individual instruments have good tone and play cool parts, and the production as a whole is pretty good. WK
Hey, Kind of a weird thing that I'm starting this on new years day, but its been a long time coming;
I've had a growing frustration with the infustructure of the Houston Music scene. Basically, I have a hard time finding local rock bands that I like. Nobody does flyers anymore, and the ways we have to find out about music are not very good.
There are venue websites, these are sometimes hard to navigate, or they don't display properly, also you have to be really looking before you even go to theese, and most of the venues will book anyone who will get people in the door... they have no quality filter at all. Another way to look for shows is to look on facebook events. this is sometimes a good way, but Facebook's algorithms tend to show me things I am not interested in or things I already know about, or just memes. Also the "no quality filter" problem comes up occasionally.
Space City Rock was always a good source, but it really lists everything and Its hard for me to tell what I care about from its list just by looking..... "George Strait @ Reliant" could be listed on a line adjacent to "Molotov Compromise @ White Swan".
Craigslist musicians is either "I am a 15 year old guitarist looking for lead guitarist, bassist, drummer, singer, keyboard player, brass, and anything else to complete band" or "singer songwriter from (city/state) seeking views on new Ep" or a few other CL tropes. no real conversation there, just loose threads that add up to not a whole lot.
I had a lot of hope for bandcamp, but I cant get it to display just Rock music from Houston. Every time I've tried, I got a mix of ambient trance, chopped and screwed, hardcore bands, and folk duo's. I guess I didn't realize that Rock and Roll was so much to ask for.
So, that said, I wanted to create a website that focuses on: