We'll be honest. This column can sometimes be a pain. We try not to halfass it and fill it full of tunes that we’re just highlighting for the sake of taking up blog space. Heck, we didn’t even run this column last month because we couldn’t find enough good tuneage (oh no - was that kid from Central Track right?!). That being said, we want to showcase songs that we actually like, and sometimes it takes a while to accrue three of ‘em. It’s mid-to-late January, though, and we’ve got a batch. They’re pretty darn good, too. Click through to find tunes from Criminal Birds, The Infamists and SpoOky Folk.
Criminal Birds - "Chill Out"
We normally like to highlight newer music in this column and this came out in March of last year, but it’s new to us so that counts, right? “Chill Out” is a dynamic song from a group of highly proficient young musicians who play like they’ve been doing so together for decades. Some internet research shows that these dudes get the term “ethereal” thrown at them quite a bit, and while that may be a valid description, it certainly didn't prepare us for the level of rock Criminal Birds attains. Sure, there are plenty of ambient bits to “Chill Out,” but about a third of the way through, it wakes the heck up. Jazzy rhythms, reverb-laden guitar noodling, and vocals that reach some pretty impressive heights abound here. It’s got kind of a Foals thing going on, too, so if you were digging them in 2013, jump on the Criminal Birds train, too.
Pseudo garage/indie rock with just the right amount of violin is only one genre away from being Yellowcard, and yet SpoOky Folk gets it so right. We’ve spent time with SpoOky Folk (by the way, we have to look up which “O” is capitalized every. single. time.) before, whether it was highlighting them in the Den10 or talking with frontman Kaleo about his lyrics in our Lyric Leak column. While this tune/album isn’t exactly new, it is one of the best local releases we’ve heard in a while and SpoOky Folk is looking to press their album, Youth Is a Notion, on vinyl through an IndieGoGo campaign. Hopefully, you’ll check it out. They’ve got some good incentives and a wonderful stop-motion video. The intertwining solos at the end of "Disheveled" had us hooked. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint either. While we’re not too sure what to expect for the future of SpoOky Folk (lead singer Kaleo Kaualoku moved to Colorado recently), we sure hope to see/hear more from ‘em soon.
The Infamists - “Miss Misdemeanor”
The riff lives strong in The Infamists. This is snotty, overtly-male guitar rock that we were surprised to find hiding out in Denton. While the lyrics may be a bit superficial - “She’s a Miss Demeanor and an evil teenager” is chanted throughout the single “Miss Misdemeanor” embedded above - but are deep, meaningful lyrics really what you’re looking for a in riff rock band? We sure hope not. Just get caught up in the riffage and see where it takes ya. We're excited to see what comes next from these fellas and we bet they put on a fun show.