March 8th, 2014 | Comments Off
Jealous Creatures – (Houston, TX )
Taking shape in early 2011, Jealous Creatures began as a collaboration between Houston locals Sarah Hirsch and Josh Barry.
Hirsch had spent time in Austin playing guitar and singing with a number of bands before deciding to return to her hometown and start something fresh. Barry, who had worked his way through a lengthy stint as drummer in Houston new wave band Japanic, was on the lookout for something new.
Reworking Hirsch’s folk-laced demos into riff-driven rock songs, the pair decided to recruit additional members for a full-fledged band. After hooking up with ex-Big Top bassist Lisa Gallo Roth, fellow Japanic keyboardist Rob Smith, and guitarist Ian Hlavacek, the band released its debut album on their own Critter Records label.
The self-titled EP showcases both sides of the band, with full-on rock like “Coffee Stains’ and ‘Faith in Man?,’ paying homage to the gritty pop rock of Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders—while tracks like the subdued Eggs Alone embody a successful mix of raucous indie rock and Norah Jones-like soul.
Currently, the band is pleasing crowds around Texas with their live shows and has plans to return to the studio in June 2011 to record their first full length recording.
A Sundae Drive (Houston, TX)
For most of the band’s debut EP, You’re Gonna Get Me, it feels like A Sundae Drive just rolls hazily along, serene smiles across the band members’ faces as the music unwinds itself to whatever its eventual destination’s going to be. They nod and sway like they’ve done it forever, but they’re not dreampop (or shoegaze, or whatever you want to call it), not exactly, but they’ve taken pieces of that sound and made ‘em their own.
Take the driving bass at the start of “…And See the World,” for one example — it bumps its way speedily through, Britpop-style, but over the top there’re wavery, watery guitars that bring to mind Teenage Fanclub (or maybe Surfer Blood), as well as some sweetly drifting harmony vocals. On the other end of the spectrum, “I’m a Poster” is right-angled and math-y, with defiant, J. Robbins-like vocals, spiraling guitars, and a jagged, almost stop-start structure. And despite the differences, it all sounds like the same band, which is no mean feat in itself.
Then there’s “Buenos Aires, Manny Pacquiao,” a soft-voiced look backwards at childhood that makes me think of Austinites Meryll more than anything else; both bands craft songs that are intensely personal and reference events that happened when the singer was a kid but still feel utterly relevant to the listener, right here in the present. There’s also a resemblance to Copeland’s gently-rocking post-emo pop, both on “Buenos Aires” or on the steadily-building “So Sleep.”
What’s really interesting about the EP, though, is that A Sundae Drive sound like a pop band that doesn’t really realize it is a pop band. They’ve got all the indie-rock influences poking out from beneath their sleeves, sure, and it’s obvious they love a lot of sharper-edged stuff — the Pixies-esque guitar drone in the background on “Alone Bad, Friends Good” gives that away, not to mention that nice “walking” melody — but the actual songs they’re writing are warm and fuzzy ’round the edges, nodding in a friendly way when you walk in the door.
At the EP’s end, when the band turns down for the up-close, slow-stepping rumble of “I’m Gonna Miss You Like Crazy,” with the droney, half-distorted, Seam-like guitar line and frontman Zeek Garcia’s deliberate, quiet vocals whispering in my ear, it hits me: I really, really like this band. A Sundae Drive don’t need to bash you over the head with how good they are; they’d much rather stand in the corner, plug in, and play until your brain catches up to what your ears already know. – Space City Rock
Blast DAD (Houston, TX)
Fueled by teen angst, Corgis and Whataburger