Clever Heads Prevail Break Through With “Mumbles”

An alt-rock sensation that screams for clarity and truthfulness, Clever Heads Prevail have released their single, “Mumbles.” For fans of the Artic Monkeys, Royal Blood and Bloc Party, the bilingual track explores the realization of deceit on a societal level. The San Marcos quartet are set to release their debut album, Mumbles, in early-February.

Mastered by Ed Brooks of Resonate Mastering, a defining mix of distorted and special effects create an ever-so-smooth release of tension as the song cascades into complex rhythms, culminating around. The track criticizes the ill-intent and mass-delusion of the world, critiquing a never-ending thirst and bottomless lies.

Track Rambler had an opportunity to sit down with Clever Heads Prevail vocalist/guitarist Jose Jimenez to talk about “Mumbles.”

Track Rambler: What does “Mumbles” mean for the band? Is it the next step?
Jose Jimenez: Well, “Mumbles” really took a lot of patience and time. We genuinely really loved the sound that we were creating. We all really appreciate that song and everything that we did with it. A lot of creativity was put in on all four of our fronts. To clarify, the drummer behind “Mumbles” is Eric Puente. Jacob is the current drummer that we have now, but Eric helped us write the entire album, “Mumbles” included. We have an album coming out soon, by the way.

TR: Early February, right?
JJ: Yeah, we’re working for early February. It’s called Mumbles as well.

TR: What does “Mumbles” mean thematically?
JJ: A lot of it, especially lyrically, is about hope. It’s to break through the mumbles of the masses and the lack of concrete words. The lyrics in “Mumbles” specifically speak to that, but the album holds true to that message as well. We were breaking through uncertainty and concepts that aren’t entirely tangible.

TR: What’s your favorite track from the upcoming album?
JJ: My personal favorite would be “What Is Right.” We have a mixtape version of that on Bandcamp.

TR: The track seems to act as a battleground between two different concepts: the good and the bad.
JJ: Lyrically, a lot of what I talk about is polarized. There are two very distinct positions and each one is pitted against the other. Ultimately, through my lyrics, I’ve really tried to push for hope and positivity. I want to say that even though there are these cases in which you have something pushing against you so hard, the power to be positive and to endure is there and that you will emerge better having gone through it. In “Mumbles,” the last “¡Yo prieto, Yo! ¡Lucharé!” translates in English to “I, the dark man, will continue to fight.” That’s the persona of a man fighting against the world and the deceit. The song is very much a detailed depiction of what one man says and what he really means. It is about intentions against the action.

TR: On intentions, what was the driving force behind having the two different languages?
JJ: I guess you could say that it reveals two personas, but the languages came out because it was natural to me. That was where I found strength and where I could hone in on something that I know would be genuine. I was allowed to articulate that emotion and passion through Spanish.

TR: Where did you guys record the album at?
JJ: We recorded at the Texas Recording Conservatory of Austin. Virginia Haladyna was our producer. We’ve worked with her on “That Life You Think You Got Pt. 1.” She tracked, mixed and mastered most of the tracks.

You can catch Clever Head Prevail next at Swan Dive on Jan. 18.

 

Article by: Sawyer Click

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Lolita Lynne Shines Bright With Fool’s Moon

Lolita Lynne creates a totally chilled out, daydream soundtrack during her latest EP, Fool’s Moon. Her simplistic approach to making genuine, heartfelt music is humbling and a pure pleasure to wind down with.

With a distinctive twist on 60’s style psychedelic pop, the homemade vibes evoked through her earthy vocals give the hint of a subtle indie feel, creating a sound authentically modern.

Lolita’s track “Enslaved“, featuring Yvonne Lambert, is utterly funky, cheeky and screams sunshine vibes. Just like her tracks “Fool’s Moon” and “I Won’t“, the songs are truly jazzed up, sounding just like something you’d hear in a coffee shop or a luxury hotel lounge. It’s a sign the music is all about relaxation. The instrumentals are simplistic and consistent, but intertwined with her effortlessly soft vocals it’s dreamy. When her deep and cryptic lyrics are combined with distorted strings during “Human“, lines like “please forgive me I’m not worthy” become hair raising.

Through a combination of jazzy toe tapping tunes and enchanting lyrics, Lolita reveals her story and lets her personality flow through Fool’s Moon. The soothing purity of her sound is impeccably engaging creating the perfect laze soundtrack for the end of the day.

 

Written by: Beth Judge

Summer Fires Shed Some Hefty Weight With Debut EP

It doesn’t take long to get to the root of Summer Fires debut EP, Without A Word. Anger, angst and acceptance drown the album’s seven introspective tracks creating a beautiful mess of emotions all brought to life through intricate indie-rock ballads and dark-pop ambiance.

Produced by Grammy-nominated Chris “Frenchie” Smith, Without A Word speaks to brooding romances, learning to accept failures and moving forward with life. The album’s heavy tone is established with the anti-romantic title track as lead vocalist J.P. Welsh’s clarion vocals reflect over falling prisoner to a debilitating relationship…“One of those romances where one party wants it much more than the other,” he says. The addition of Eden Welpy’s backing vocals provide a duality to the emotive track making it relatable from either party’s perspective.

Without A Word doesn’t let up from there. “Coming Down” and “Last Four Hours” both describe how toxic relationships can spill over into other areas of life. The synchronized key taps of the album’s lead single, “Coming Down”, succumb to jarring percussion, fuzzy, arena-rock chords and a Tool-ish, new-metal darkness while “Last Four Hours” takes more of a 90’s alternative approach to the weighty subject matter. The album’s progressive turning point is reached in the episodic “Wait.Wait.Wait” in which Welsh becomes an outside narrator telling a story about a girl stuck in a bad place. “Throughout the course of the song, her fear turns into anger and she pushes back,” he says.

The album’s most upbeat and carefree portion comes in “The Drive”, a borderline post-punk track about jumping in head first, without hesitation or self-doubt. The band branches into fuzzy indie-pop with “Here Tonight” to deliver a strong message of self-honesty and living in the moment before their grandiose conclusion in “The Dream We Had,” an atmospheric and heavy-hearted track written as a tribute to a good friend who lost his battle with cancer.

Summer Fires throws around some serious weight with their debut EP. It’s evident there was a distinct purpose and message the band wanted to deliver when they set their poetry in motion and that message is clearly conveyed from start to finish. The material is heavy but inclusive and far reaching and the band should find a large audience as most listeners will know the emotions behind Without A Word all too well.

The Official Without A Word EP Release Party will be on Thursday, Jan. 18 at Stubb’s Indoors with support from The Cuckoos and Matt Gilmour.

 

Summer Fires press photo 1

Omenihu Doesn’t Look Back in “Adios”

Omenihu hits the road and doesn’t look back in his newest hit, “Adios.” The Human Influence co-founder grips a carefree tone in one of the most cheerful break-up songs, produced by Charles Mxxn and Caleb Contreras. With lyrics that center around exiting a toxic relationship and finding some inner piece, “Adios” is an absolute anthem for those fresh out of a relationship.

Adios” follows Omenihu’s “Dream Killers” and “All Vibes Matter (Ft. Micky).” Much like “All Vibes Matter,” “Adios” is a cool-flowing movement that expels joy with every instrument. Adorned with cover art of a joyous Omenihu getting slapped, the laid-back, piano-centric track bolsters the singing of the newly-single and proud Omenihu. “Shawty adios / Damn, your vibe is gross,” playfully interweaves with a set of chopstick-style piano licks and trap-bass punches.

Verses are home to a multitude of jabs that ultimately point toward the UT-grad’s liberation from his ex. A blend of singing and rapping gives the track a sense of likability and something to remember it by. “You’re mad I replaced you / Young and you’re hateful / That is so shameful,” he punches. It’s not to mean that the track entirely focuses on the horrific ex, but instead, It’s a tale of Omenihu’s path to enlightenment and happiness.

 

Written by: Sawyer Click

 

KickAction Collective From Shadows EP Release Party at Rattle Inn

I was in no way prepared for the rhythm and blues ass whoopin’ KickAction Collective threw down at Rattle Inn last Friday. The boundary bending, four-piece made up of rockers from all shapes, shades and sexes was in the house celebrating the release of their debut EP, From Shadows.

According to their social, the band ‘aims to cross genres, mixing and mashing sounds to create a unique musical experience.’ But, in all fairness, that mission statement doesn’t even begin to describe just how exhilarating KickAction Collective (KAC) is live. ‘Each performance is a journey of raw emotion that must be witnessed to immerse yourself in the wave of music.’ Now that’s more like it. So let’s get into it.

Friday night began with an opening set from Austin’s DIY alternative-pop duo, SHEiLAVA. The band consists of songwriters Sheila V.A. and Jason Garcia, but on Friday, had grown into a full-blown five-piece with the addition of strings and brass. Think of your favorite electo-pop acts from the 80’s…throw in some heartfelt singer-songwriter folk…top it off with classical jazz and precise, silky smooth vocals and voila…SHEiLAVA.

The band released their debut full-length, Nonsense, earlier this summer and covered several album favorites Friday night…such as the whimsical ballad ‘Where is the Ghost’, the downbeat and sensual ‘Less Than Fair’ and the bouncy, infectiously catchy lead single, ‘Bomb Shelter’. SHEiLAVA displayed some courageous ethereal pop grounded by singer-songwriter sophistication. No lie, I’ve been repeating ‘don’t touch the lava’ since Friday.

KickAction Collective took the stage next bringing all the beautiful creatures to the front of the room to witness a performance that was intimate, but at the same time, live AF. As mentioned earlier, KAC is comprised of an array of artists from various backgrounds that all comes together for damn good, party rock entertainment. The band consists of Jaden Jostrand (lead vocals & bass), Gary Still (guitar & vocals), Geoff Trujillo (drums) and Julia Canales (violin and rhythm guitar).

From Shadows starts with an enticing game of cat and mouse in ‘The Chase Is On’ that’s highlighted by Jostrand’s cascading vocals and Canales’ seductive background sonnet. ‘Pen Pals’, the EP’s bluesy lead single, ignites with anticipatory Spanish chords and fiery duel vocals from Jostrand and Still layered over a blistering rock melody and flashy bow throwing from Canales. Watching Still and Canales trade-off in a strings solo tug-of-war on ‘Pen Pals’ was absolutely jaw-dropping. Trujillo shines with a sporadic barrage of percussion during the speedy ‘Shadows in the Dark, Pt. 1’. However, this track belongs to Still and his skirting guitar licks and blistering, bottom string solo that immediately took me Back to The Future like Marvin Berry watching Marty McFly at The Enchantment Under The Sea dance. This is how rock was meant to be played. Still took over lead duties on the jazzy EP closer ‘Shadows in the Dark, Pt. 2’ while Jostrand painted the background with crooning vocals and a howling, celebratory crescendo.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I entered Rattle Inn on Friday night. But, I guarantee you I wasn’t planning to be floored by the inspirational rock intensity of KickAction Collective. This is classic party rock for a brand new generation. The band is currently working on their full-length follow up to From Shadows. For more information check them out here. In the meantime, enjoy the images below captured at the From Shadows Release Party at Rattle Inn.

KickAction Collective

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SHEiLAVA

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Photos by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun

Neosho and The Saxed-up, Synthed-out Borderline

A little wavy, a little weird, a whole lot of cool; Austin’s experimental synth duo Neosho released their debut album Borderline on Nov. 10. The duo’s lush sax-infused beats trickle across trap, synth-pop and post-rock vibes. Vocalist Jackson Bennet and saxophonist Justin Bernard Williams lead us on a 10-track trip through fjords of noisescapes. The duo originally met on Solipsism, an online forum that connected introspective extroverted Ableton artists. To put the abstract concept of Neosho’s music in perspective, solipsism is a theory that all that can be known to exist is one’s self.

Big G”, The lead single of Borderline captures the essence of the album. Williams’ soothing saxophone melts into the trap beat with ease while Bennet’s vocals rub against the electric-climate of the track, giving a smooth contrast. The nostalgic vibes make the track seem like it belongs in the soundtrack to your favorite 80s sci-fi/action movie.

The anthemic “Time Traveler” is a sequence heavy banger that highlights the production skills of the duo. The distorted vocals, cascading arpeggios and blaring bass form a symbiotic relationship similar to pop-radio hits. The track’s emphasis of percussive sounds and vocal sampling creates a signature sound that’s near-impossible to forget. Williams throws 8-bit sax madness against a wall of samples, creating the aural version of kaleidoscopes.

The jazz-infused and shadow-heavy “Darkhorse” is more traditional song in structure and form. Whisper-style vocals captivate while a trap-set and bass guitar drive the entire song. Williams’ saxophone is bolstered by an emphatic sequence of programmed basslines.

Borderline” and “Get Wise” round out the top-streamed Spotify songs. The two tracks keep in line with the exotic structures already established. “Borderline” explores the use of calculated silence and all-in verses. The arsenal of noises is unleashed at once with a distorted bassline pushing the button. The melody-centric and Axel Foley approved “Get Wise” is a track of showmanship, with Bennet’s vocals jumping across the musical staff and skipping through various stylings. The easy-going track’s syncopated rhythms are a call to arms, pleading to every listener to stop what they’re doing and dance.

Neosho’s debut album is exotic in every fashion. The Avant Garde stylings draw from influences both new and old to create an album that is sonically robust. The full-force bangers and laid-back lullabies signal the beginning of Neosho’s ascension into the kingdom of synth-pop.

 

https://neosho.bandcamp.com/

Written by: Sawyer Click

 

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Photo by: Justin Williams

 

The Screaming Thieves Release Their Latest Single ‘Wandering Feet’

Brandon Callies is back with a brand new single, brand new band, and a brand new sound. ‘Wandering Feet’ see’s the Greenville, TX native collaborate with Screaming Thieves, giving him ample chance to flash his rockier alter ego.

In comparison to Callies work with his Americana-rock group, The American Revival, the sound is toughened up to the max. Counting Black Sabbath and Muddy Waters as their inspirations, The Screaming Thieves illustrate themselves as “a band of hooligans, ruffians, heathens, and ne’er do wells” With Bold vocals, brash instrumentals, and a daring tenacity for rock and roll, it’s hard to believe that Screaming Thieves were only formed in 2014.

Despite their outrageously confident sound, the lyrics to ‘Wandering Feet’ remain painstakingly sincere. Callies narrates of a consistent character in his life who brings grief and anguish to all those that cross her path…”the girl that’s hell-bent on bringing down everyone around her.” The single centralizes on exploring somber, agonizing, motifs through thoroughly reckless rock sounds.

Written by: Beth Judge

The Cold Tony’s Get Chilly With “She’ll Come Around”

San Marcos, Texas, has long been home to indie vibes and lo-fi tribes, but psy-fi surf group the Cold Tony’s have blown up the local music scene with their most recent release “She’ll Come Around.” The six-and-a-half-minute track timelessly tip-toes through the woes of jazz-infused coping mechanisms and hopeless romanticism.

A smooth backbeat falls in and out of line as acid-laced chords drip through oblivion in the introduction of “She’ll Come Around.” The trio forego any sense of time in the first 30-seconds, thriving off of a psychic groove that explodes into unison as vocals enter. Guitarist/vocalist Michael Martinez howls “you’re coming down / she’ll come around” in an attempt to convince ones’ self that everything will be okay.

The band admits that the track is about a “sense of shame with ones’ behaviors & optimism toward the future.”

A mix of phased-out guitar licks and syncopated chords cascades through the speaker for the duration of the track, allowing breathing room for each musician as they become self-aware. It’s an emotional track that focuses on instrumental delivery rather than a vocal-oriented one.

The Sunday-afternoon laziness in the song doesn’t subtract from the value but instead creates a gloomy atmosphere that amplifies every thought of self-doubt found in Martinez’s voice. Whether it’s background music to studying or a night under the stars, it’s music that doesn’t say much but means a lot.

The band is currently gearing up for four off shows during the second half of October starting at Sidewinder in Austin tomorrow night, The Monster Mash at Kiva Lounge in San Marcos on the 26th, College Station the 27th, and Halloween night in Denton. An album will be released late this winter or early next spring that will follow up on these blue-wave emotions.

 

Written by: Sawyer Click

The Enchanting Sound of TOMKAT’s Icarus

Entitled Icarus, TOMKAT have truly epitomized both the sound and spirit of their latest album in a single word. By relaying the messages of the great Greek myth through their ability to go against the genre grain, TOMKAT are flying high, yet the album is far from a tragedy. With the band’s supernatural synthetics and entrancing vocals, this is the perfect spooky soundtrack for this Halloween.

Describing their sound as somewhere between pop, jazz, rock, and dance, their unique sound consistently keeps you on your toes. With heartbeat drums and electrifying guitars, tracks ‘Pompeii‘ and ‘Human‘ showcase the band’s rockier side. Short but strengthy, both tracks are reduced in length, but ensure they pack a punch and leave a deep impression with both their heavy instrumental talent, as well as weighty lyrics.

Although a thoroughly rock feeling album, TOMKAT keep it quirky and distinctive with idiosyncratic synthesizers. Dropping subtle nods towards modern, electronic dance themes; distorted twangs give tracks like ‘Persephone’ a dark, ‘Stranger Things’ sounding undertone, whilst giving ‘Phoenix’ a remarkably eerie feel.

Despite its spectral sound, ‘Phoenix’ is perhaps one of the most compelling and influential tracks on the album. With the rock theme chilled out, the track’s simplicity is key, allowing the expressive lyrics and impeccable vocals to do the talking. A beautifully triumphant track singing “Once and for all, I rise; Once and for all, I’ll fly.” It’s plentiful in fulfillment.

Likewise to ‘Phoenix’, an attribute all nine tracks share are Katrina Cain’s immersive vocals. Silky yet fearless, her angelic innocence is radiant. Her featherlike voice strokes and softens each and every song, creating a phantom illusion. She is completely transfixing.

With the band’s complex sounds, rhythmic interplay, and their passion to experiment with genres, TOMKAT are already ahead of the game and the perfect future for modern music.

http://tomkatband.com/

 

Written by: Beth Judge

 

Sad Cops Drop ‘It’s Eating at Me’ Video From Debut Album

Angst powers through desperation in emo-band Sad Cops’ newest video single, “It’s Eating at Me.” The track comes from the Denton-based group’s debut album Liam Murphy Holt, released on Apr. 19, 2016.

The album took the Denton music scene by storm and has gained the band considerable momentum. With this velocity, the quintet created the “It’s Eating at Me” video.

The video takes place in what looks to be your typical suburbia-type house. Each member of the quintet takes residency of their own room. It’s a slow build into the thick of the track, with vocals not making an entrance until 43 seconds in, but it ultimately leads to a powerful explosion of emotion. This sequence propels the song to the end.
By what can’t be coincidence, each member’s wardrobe matches the color of the walls. Toward the end of the video, the members join together in a garage filled with someone’s belongings. Every emotion (represented by the colors) comes together ultimately to create this effect of uncontrollable anxiety. The video may be low-budget, but the effectiveness of color, transitions and the overall feel of the song makes this homemade look excel.

The track is lyrically ambiguous with only 19 words in the song’s arsenal. A strong point toward self-loathing due to an intransigent characteristic is a fair interpretation. The lyrics have been added below for convenience.

Cry, You shouldn’t have to try
It’s emancipation pain
The kind you pray away
And it’s eating at me

The group is currently playing a few one-off shows that can be found on their Facebook page. Dallas fans can catch them with Mom Jeans, Walter Etc., and Alaska Bicycle Co on Oct. 22 at the Prophet Bar on Elm Street. Keep an eye on Sad Cops, you never know when they strike and/or need a hug.

Written by: Sawyer Click