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Zach Person Gets Loud at Geraldine’s for a Live Performance and New LP

There will be an outdoor, socially-distanced show at Empire Control Room on April 2, 2021 for Zach Person’s LP release. The LP features some tracks already available on the EP and special gems that he treated the audience to at Geraldine’s on March 10th. 

 

In the wake of Texas’ reopening and lifted mask mandate, BlackDenim Records hosts a safe, socially-distanced private showing at Geraldine’s for their premiere artist, Zach Person. For all of those who feel they are still on the bizarro side of reality, Zach Person’s uninhibited rock offers an assuring remedy. Yes, rock is alive and yes, life is strange. 

 

Doused in blue lights, the stage is set for Zach’s stellar vocals and handsome guitars with his impressive drummer, Jake Wyble, by his side. His vintage microphone projects his belting voice to fill the swanky venue. As he transitions to “Radio Man,” a new track from the LP, his crooning “ooh-ohs” and the catchy chorus capture the affection of the audience. The sound waves and sheer passion send the drapes flying and windows shaking. He moves into “How Long,” a song born from his quarantine experience  —  and a song worthy of bobbing, gyrating and romping about. Since the small group of invited guests are observing social distancing, dancing appears limited to clapping in rhythm and shoulder shaking for now… but the thunderous amplifiers — which are also retro — lead the imagination to wander, and crave the very near future of bodies dancing freely. 

 

Zach’s artistry is immediately apparent, and so is his humble, kind demeanor. Each guest received an EP and Zach made rounds to greet each table — mask on, of course — his charismatic scorpio presence beaming through. Laudable comparisons have already been made — Zach’s name has been mentioned next to Lenny Kravitz, The Black Keys and Gary Clark Jr. — but this youthful artist is carving out his own space for his own name. 

 

Back to the show — there is a walking disco ball and $200 martini on the menu. The experience paints an interesting contrast of a blaring rock band playing in an upscale cafe. It feels like we should be rowdy in the presence of rock and roll, and that day will come, but the event is organized, smooth and polished. Nearing the end of the set list, Zach plays a demo track that made it to the LP. It’s a softer tune without percussion that highlights his clean guitar and songwriting skills. He closes the performance with “Can’t Stop Running,” which will surely be a takeaway anthem from the album. Live, loud music is out there and making its safe way back to our city. 

 

- Mel Green

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Dayeater Drops New Single "Sweet Earth"

Psych rock trio, Dayeater, stay true to their roots with their latest single, “Sweet Earth.” The track pays homage to classic bands such as Black Sabbath and AC/DC while sprinkling in their own unique psychedelic twist. “Sweet Earth” features piercing vocals, bluesy guitar licks and bolstering drums, along with some very sharp production from Chris “Frenchie” Smith at the Bubble Studios.
 
Within the first thirty seconds of the song, they manage to transport you straight into the 1970’s with Jesse Lee’s vintage guitar sound and gritty vocals. Landry Jackson’s drums remain simple and understated — yet serve as a powerful driving force to the song. Complementing all of these parts perfectly are Christopher Brockett’s groovy bass lines and nuanced vocal harmonies that adds a polished layer to the track’s catchy hook.
 
As soon as you think you know the direction the song is going, they throw a curveball with multiple clever breakdowns.  The dynamics range from loud and thrashy to soft and sweet, with an outro reminiscent of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” The killer instrumentation is paired with thought-provoking lyrics that speak out against humanity’s inability to protect the earth and the environment.
 
It’s clear that Dayeater’s sound is locked-in and their artistic integrity never seems to waver. They are a true rock and roll band and their latest single perfectly embodies what they are all about. Listen to “Sweet Earth” on Bandcamp today!

- Quinn Donoghue

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The Automatic Sun Drop New Single "Away"

 

"Away," the new Automatic Sun single, is the song you didn't know you needed after living through the year 2020. And Lord Jeebus what a year that was. If you're anything like me, you've been waiting your little heart out for new music that possibly reflects how we all feel inside after what last year put us through. This is one of those very songs, my friends.

 

The title "Away" gives you a first glance into the full meaning of this song, because, yeah, we all sort of feel like we've been away. The lyrics tell the story of someone basically being forced to stay where they are, while all the while feeling a longing to break free from their personal prison. While it could be easy to see this song as your typical "I miss you" ballad, personally I feel like the meaning is more of an expression of feeling trapped in quarantine — and that all too familiar longing for the world to be back normal again. Even the lyrics "take a year" at the end of each chorus is a nod to the year that pretty much all of us lost.

 

With a sound reminiscent of the 60 acid pop vibe making its way through Austin, it's hard not to be taken into Mark Webb's emotional journey into the creation of this song. I can hear influences from The Beatles and even Cage The Elephant. It's easy to feel like you're basking in the sun on a mild spring afternoon when this song plays. 

 

These guys have an EP, and 2 singles released on their Bandcamp page, so there's enough music to wet your whistle. With the dark melancholy tone of "Away" and lyrics deep enough to rival anything out there right now, I'm certainly looking forward to any new music these guys have to offer.

 

- Michael Lee

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Mobley Releases New EP “Young and Dying in the Occident Supreme”

Right from the title, Mobley's new release is a mouthful. “Young and Dying in the Occident Supreme” has a great deal to say about America, capitalism, religion and sundry Big Ideas™.

 

It doesn't always hit. Mobley apparently recorded “Occident Supreme” sojourning in Thailand. You can kinda tell. Several tracks have an ineffable parochial “college freshman comes to Thanksgiving after a year abroad and has Ideas” dullness. The top track in particular sounds like a barely produced spoken-word take on your least favorite TA's favorite Medium article. The politics of “You Are Not The Hero Of This Story” are true and righteous altogether. It just doesn't slap.

 

Thankfully, it's a rare misstep. Start at track two, the danceable but lethal “James Crow,” and this release stops being homework. From “Crow” onward, Mobley's music lives up to its lyrical pieties. The hooks are tight, the grooves are luscious and playful, soulful vocals sweeten even the most earnest lyrical excesses. If anything, a track or two errs on the side of hooky pop and romantic angst rather than depth.

 

So yeah, “Young and Dying in the Occident Supreme” is a bit all over the place. But, and this is everything, it's not boring. “James Crow” is a standout, in contention for top tracks so far this year. Even “You Are Not The Hero Of This Story,” the album's one inarguable miss, swings for the fences. Mobley's EP is a catchy, urgent and utterly timely attempt at agit-pop, something lacking from the otherwise utterly politicized American conversation of 2021. If Mobley's music is more earnest than its cultural moment, that can only be to its credit. It's music that gives a damn.

 

- Matt Salter

 

“Young and Dying in the Occident Supreme” dropped on February 19, by way of Last Gang Records.

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Alex Maas of the Black Angels Cultivates Compassion with “Too Much Hate”

Alex Maas, of Austin’s beloved Black Angels, brings us this delightful dirge of a song following his debut solo album, Luca, released December 2020. Luca, named after and informally dedicated to Maas’ first born son, carries the same psychedelia undertones we associate with Maas, but with a softer touch. 

 

Maas says the new music video, “is a glimpse of what a tour on this record would look like had we not been in a pandemic.” Filmed in an opera house in downtown Bastrop, the video features Maas and his amp, his band and collaborators in a spacious, empty music hall with dim red and pale green lighting. As the hypnotic rhythm marches on, the video pans across the masked musicians, a lonely Ficus tree in the corner and a charming Texas quilt pinned to the wall. Maas’ signature dark vocals fill up and echo through the grand hall.

 

Too Much Hate” sings of healing the cancers in our societies and circles, “There’s too much hate and not enough loving. There’s too much killing, honey.” Maas is not blatantly topical, but the song gently reminds us of the hate we’ve collectively witnessed in the last year. Is it the spirit of hate that perpetuates the disproportionate number of deaths in vulnerable populations from disease? From gun violence and racism? Acknowledging hate affirms the need for love. In a statement, Maas says the song “attempts to identify things that make the world more beautiful,” evidenced in his lyrics, “Sing for your children. Empower women.” He repeats, “Don’t shoot from your hip. Don’t shoot from your hip,” a cowboy idiom and cautionary reminder for all to take heed.  

 

Rather than commiserating about all that is wrong and broken, Maas’ new song is a call for solutions. Although there is a slight air of melancholy, the psych rocker sheds beams of hope to uplift morale through music. Alex Maas’ full statement and insight into the song are listed on Levitation’s website, where you can also purchase tickets for the streaming event later this month. 

 

 

- Mel Green

 

 

Check out the new song and video from Alex Maas’ “Too Much Hate.” The music video release precedes a full performance film streaming on Levitation Sessions on March 27th at 7PM CST. 

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