The first time I saw Sean Morales play he was staggering around the stage, cigarette dangling from his lips, doing his best Keith impersonation, as part of the beautiful mess that was Austin garage punks Titz. Since Titz, he’s kicked around in different bands with different sounds over the years– a bit of garage soul with The Stepbrothers, the annihilating space rock of James Arthur’s Manhunt, and did I see him do some time with quirky electronic collective Ichi Ni San Shi? I think I did…. His latest project is his debut solo record, Call It In, and what a mighty fine project it is.
Recorded with a number of stalwarts of the Austin underground rock ‘n’ roll scene– including folks from The Young Mothers, OBN IIIs, the Golden Boys, and James Arthur’s Manhunt– this thing possesses a casual confidence as it moves seamlessly from the easy groove of opening cover “Video Life” to dirty, broke down blues to a sort of twisted, loner psych folk before wrapping the whole thing up with a bit of scrape and grind. And though it’s a largely mellow affair, it’s got plenty of grit. Keith still makes it in, but so do plenty of others like Skip Spence and Chilton, and as a whole the album sounds like it was written and recorded by a dude with a pretty great record collection who knows exactly what he wants but is open to anything that happens.
Call It In is out now on Super Secret Records. Check it out here.
Ever wonder what it would sound like if the members of the best damn rock ‘n’ roll band in Austin got together after about five or so years, corralled a bit of controlled chaos and grit and melody, and channeled it into their best damn record since their last best damn record ? Me too! And now that I know, I’ve been spinnin’ The Golden Boys Better Than Good Times like a motherfuckin’ top!
Better Than Good Times is out now via 12XU, and available there and via Bandcamp. Rock it.
Ever wonder what it would sound like if Gollum took up Tuvan throat singing, rounded up some Orcs, and started a funeral doom metal band deep under the Misty Mountains? Me neither! But now that I know, I’ve been spinnin’ Derais’s Of Angel’s Seed and Devil’s Harvest like a motherfuckin’ top!
Of Angel’s Seed and Devil’s Harvest is out now via 20 Buck Spin, and available there and via the Derais Bandcamp site. Rock it.
Ever wonder what the Psychedelic Furs would sound like if they reinvented themselves as a doom metal band with some prog tendencies? Me neither! But now that I know, I’ve been spinnin’ Alaric’s End of Mirrors like a motherfuckin’ top!
End of Mirrors is out via Neurot Recordings, and available there and via the Alaric Bandcamp site. Rock it.
At long last, just over 40 years after it was recorded during a single August night in 1976, Neil Young’s Hitchhiker sees an official release. And what a release it is. Packed with known and loved songs, most of which have seen the light of day in one form or another over the years, Hitchhiker is pure, raw Neil– guitar, voice, harmonica, some piano, recorded straight through, excepting a few pauses for, according to his memoir Special Deluxe, “weed, beer, or coke.” Outside of stumbling upon him at some little known roadhouse bar, this is as raw and pure as it gets, and it’s worth rushing out to buy just to hear him roll through an acoustic version of “Powderfinger”. But then there’s the ever-enigmatic “Pocahontas”. The crushing “Give Me Strength”. The searching, wandering artist travelogue of the title track. And “Campaigner,” which draws a straight line from Nixon to our current Oompa-Loompa-in-Chief. Really, though, the pleasure is hearing the album as a whole piece, cover to cover, from the opening “You ready, Briggs?” to the last fading notes of “The Old Country Waltz”. Though the recordings have the feel and charm of demos, the album as a whole has the feeling of a fully realized vision, and you owe it to yourself– and to Neil– to hear it that way.
Hitchhiker is out now via Reprise and available pretty much anywhere you can buy music. Hook your local record store up with a few bucks, and yourself up with a great fuckin’ record.