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Alt Rock





Breathtaker Actually Did Give Me a Shock

It’s been a while since a song happily shocked me with a good screaming section, but local band Breathtaker just did it. This group, of which I had been previously ignorant, submitted their music to us this week, and I put on their newest album Revelations without knowing what to expect. The submission was listed as Indie, the album art suggested maybe something a little avant-garde; only the name seemed a bit more dramatic than most indie groups, but even that, I thought, I could see from some indie groups.

Partway through opener track “Kingsbury,” when I was thinking Breathtaker might be going for a kind-of dreary, melodic indie with a post-rock bent kinda thing (which I was digging, by the way), a wild dissonant note hit and the screaming began . It was actually a little hair-raising in a literal way, after me not expecting it. And that's because it was good screaming, earned and welcome and well-done, exceptionally balanced against the instrumentation and used as one ingredient in the wider paradigm of a well-structured piece of music. I liked it, and the rest of the 11 track album was thought out with equal attention and care if not quite as surprising as that initial screaming shock.

I wouldn’t dream to genre a band differently than they do themselves, but indie here more represents the “independent musicians” definition than it does a sound for Breathtaker, at least in relation to what “indie” bands in Austin typically sound like. If, however, I were to try and describe Breathtaker to one of my high school friends from Amarillo who were into the surprisingly extensive screaming music scene there in the mid 2000s, I’d say that they’re a band that’s on the artsier side of what some people call hardcore, and which some just call emo. That last term is culturally deficient to describe these guys - it is far too broad and I really doubt they use it to refer to themselves at any point - but it does the trick in 2015 to get you in the right mind of what to expect from Breathtaker. If you are or ever were the kind of person who thought that screaming rock music had something awesome to offer (like we do), Breathtaker is a new entry in that particular segment of Music with Screaming. That people keep making interesting things happen with music like this proves that it's a segment that is a powerful space where quality experimentation can occur, and out of which some damn good tracks, like "Kingsbury," can come. Get listening below.

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Radio Free Universe @ This Ain't Hollywood

Radio Free Universe struck gold at the Horseshoe Tavern Monday night, putting on a fierce and bold rock n’ roll showcase performance. Stopping you in your tracks with a wickedly large vocal by front man, George Panagopoulos; his voice is layered and carried by pure rock n’ roll sounds. RFU showcased their pre-release single “American Gun” , it’s a huge track that rushes you like a speeding train. It opens with familiar throbbing drum beats that get your boots stompin’, then rolls sweetly into an unforgettable vocal that rips hard to wailing guitars. Stay tuned this Sept for RFU’s EP release of Casa Del Diablo. But you don’t have to wait too long to see them again, Radio Free Universe is playing Friday 4/17 @ This Ain’t Hollywood.

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Big Lonely 4/11 @ the Rivoli

Big Lonely is Burlington, Ontario's up and coming indie rock band. These guys are breaking hearts and moving feet with their infectious array of emotion and sound demonstrated on their most recent release, Close your eyes, Keep Talking. Pairing up the buttery lead vocals with catchy chorus' seems to be the winning combination. Don't be mistaken, there's no shortage of angst or aggression throughout the album. The boys of Big Lonely know how to keep things intriguing and refreshing - in the over-populated indie rock scene. Go take a listen! Better yet, make sure to head out and sing along to their contagious tunes Saturday 4/11 @ the Rivoli.-Courtney Chalapenko

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The Lonely Parade @ Junction Music Hall

Three piece, all girls, 90s alt-grunge mixed with some modern indie rock, that’s Lonely Parade. They just released a new EP titled “Splenda Thief.” Perhaps coffee sweetener is hard to come by in Peterborough (which is the girl’s hometown). The opening track, "Stephane Dion" has dirty basslines with trippy guitars that continue into the next track. “Mono” has more vocals in and there’s definitely some Kim Deal inspiration going on there. These tunes are noisy and fun! I don’t think the ladies in the Lonely Parade take themselves all that seriously and that’s a good thing! Music needs to be fun. So go have fun with The Lonely Parade @ The Junction Music Hall tonight. Check out their website for all their spring dates.-Kris “Big City” Gies

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Photo Recap: Treefort Music Festival

Treefort Music Fest 2015 was an absolute whirlwind. In their biggest and unarguably most successful year yet, the festival had non-stop fantastic musical curation throughout the entire long weekend. Waking up each morning with a gnarly hangover, the only admirable thing to do was to pop into Big City Coffee for a heartstopping breakfast burrito and a few cups of coffee while checking out the festival schedule to figure out your show and drinking route for the day, then, hit the ground running. Check out our photo recap, including shots of Viet Cong, Foxygen, Built To Spill, Yahct, And And And, Aan, The Domestics, Bed., Wooden Indial Burrial Ground, Grandparents and more. Photos by Drew Bandy, Adam Smith, Jessica Pierson and Grahame Bywater.

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