Deecracks – Sonic Delusions (Vinyl)

The Austrian punk trio Deecracks have been slogging it out in basement parties and clubs for 15 years now, all the while adhering to a strong DIY ethos that saw them self-releasing most of their records, when they weren’t booking their own shows across the globe. Indie Street Punk/Oi stalwart Pirate Press jumped in and offered to release the band’s latest, Sonic Delusions, giving the band a better shot at exposure in the U.S. And just a couple of songs in, it’s clear what Pirate Press saw in the band. Continue reading “Deecracks – Sonic Delusions (Vinyl)”

Parker Millsap – Other Arrangements (CD)

Over the course of four records, Oklahoma native Parker Millsap has managed to deliver four distinctly remarkable albums without retreading much on his own musical ground. Continue reading “Parker Millsap – Other Arrangements (CD)”

Hi Lo Ha – Ain’t Gone Tonight

It’s pretty apt that the San Francisco Indie rock band Hi Lo Ha decided to borrow the name of Dylan’s Woodstock, New York home for their moniker. The group manages to draw deep inspiration from Dylan’s onetime backing musicians The Band for their Ain’t Gone Tonight EP. But far from being just another band stuck in the ‘60s, they also bring in some modern influences to round out their sound – bands like Wilco and Dr. Dog. The result is a fantastic blend of folk and rock, perfectly melding lush arrangements (“Cold Weather Clothes”) with more straight-up rock guitars (“Radio”) and Soulful jams (“Thinking ‘Bout a Friend”). Continue reading “Hi Lo Ha – Ain’t Gone Tonight”

The Underhill Family Orchestra – Tell Me That You Love Me (CD)

Sometime in the past few years, someone made the decision that modern rock bands were free to add liberal amounts of funk, soul and creativity to their sound and (thankfully) the floodgates seem to have finally opened. On the heels of some of the great eclectic Americana, folk and R&B musicians that seem to have surfaced from nowhere – folks like Nathaniel Rateliff, The Wood Brothers and Shovels & Rope – Alabama’s The Underhill Family Orchestra add their impressive 5-part vocal arrangements to the bill. Continue reading “The Underhill Family Orchestra – Tell Me That You Love Me (CD)”

The Clash: All The Albums, All The Songs

The Clash’s record label once dubbed the group as “the only band that matters” in the promotional materials introducing them to the U.S. and while the phrase was certainly polarizing at the time, you can’t help but find their influence stronger today than ever before. Whether it was adding strong, sing-able melodies to punk rock – heard in bands like Green Day and every Green Day clone since; their strong political lyrics, since adopted by everyone from Bad Religion to the Manic Street Preachers; or their mix of ska and Reggae to punk rock on their second and third albums, pretty much handing Rancid their musical template, The Clash is just as relevant 30 years after their demise. Continue reading “The Clash: All The Albums, All The Songs”

Shakey Graves – Can’t Wake Up

Shakey Graves (Alejandro Rose-Garcia) had only been in the public eye for about a year in 2012 when the mayor of Austin proclaimed February 9th, “Shakey Graves Day.” A hell of an achievement so soon out of the gate, but six years and several albums later, Garcia is still living up to the hype. Continue reading “Shakey Graves – Can’t Wake Up”

Jeff Plankenhorn – Sleeping Dogs (CD)

One-time go-to gun for hire Jeff Plankenhorn has played guitar and lap slide for everyone from Joe Ely and Reckless Kelly to Hayes Carll and Kelly Willis. But as of recently he’s walked back into the center of the spotlight with his own records. Sleeping Dogs, his latest, shows why he was so in demand in his adopted home of Austin. Continue reading “Jeff Plankenhorn – Sleeping Dogs (CD)”

Steve Wynn – Kerosene Man; Dazzling Display (CDs)

Going from the front man of a strongly influential band to a solo artist has always been a tough act to pull off, trying to keep up the good will and credibility banked. But, Steve Wynn showed how to do it with style in the early ‘90s when Dream Syndicate called it a day and he decided to carry on in a decidedly different direction. Continue reading “Steve Wynn – Kerosene Man; Dazzling Display (CDs)”