Now’s as good a time as any to take stock of the quality releases to come from Fort Worth (sometimes with Dallas’ or Denton’s help) over the past couple of weeks alone: The Orbans’ Vedere, The Fibs’ Hex Hex Hex, a recording of Ronald Shannon Jackson’s last show (Live at the Kessler Theater), The Me-Thinks’ Three Chili Dog Night, JJ & The Rogues’ Sweet Talker, and the list goes on. The party never stops here, and if you live in North Texas and still only listen to mainstream radio, time to get yo head checked, sucka. –– Anthony Mariani
The Diabolical Machines’ Get Scrappy!
The title of the new EP from The Diabolical Machines –– Get Scrappy! –– implies that the Fort Worth “boutique rock” quartet is serving up more of its unique brand of groovy, hook-laden retro pop. (The word “scrappy” is so twee, as the hip kids say.) And, indeed, this collection of five tunes produced by keyboardist-vocalist Kevin Buchanan is full of spirited melodies, clever lyrical wordplay, and, especially, the punk-princess vocals of frontwoman (and Kevin’s wife) Steph Buchanan, which sound more than ever like a fusion of Patti Smith and Belinda Carlisle. But the instrumental sound –– courtesy of the Buchanans, bassist Jonathan Holder, and drummer Aubrey Savage –– veers toward a faster, rougher garage style that pop-rock bands tend to evolve from rather than to. The Machines still sound new-but-retro but in an amped-up, CBGB kind of way.