Time and tide wait for no man. Despite the lack of the gender-inclusive tone we should expect in these late 20-teens, the fatuous “wisdom” of this musty cliché still has a bit of merit. This slowly melting rock we call home continues to spin around the giant gas ball at the center of our solar system, and all the while, on its face, a tiny dust-colored speck of a town called Fort Worth continues to crank out great music at a rate our little paper often can’t keep up with. Sadly, we miss a lot.
Couple the torrid pace of tuneage continually dropping around town with two issues within the last month devoted exclusively to Local Music Christmas (mad respect to our intrepid captain Eric Griffey for putting together the best year yet of the Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards, b-t-dubs), and needless to say, it’s probably time to do a little house cleaning.
The following is far from an exhaustive recap on the musical goings-on that have slipped our attention in recent weeks, so forgive us if your latest favorite local jam is omitted. Like I said, we’ve missed a lot.
One extremely popular band that we admittedly don’t pay enough attention to is metalcore four-piece Oh, Sleeper. These black-clad dudes just released Bloodied / Unbowed, their fourth full-length featuring their signature hair-raising riffage and pseudo-Christian lyrical content.
On the heels of an instrumental lo-fi album inspired by ’70s blaxploitation films called Beyond Aggravation released in February, eye patch-sporting sci-fi rapper Doc STRANGE put out a new single called “Destro.” He’s also lending his voice to new tracks from The Last Afronauts, a new Dallas-based Afrofuturism outfit with Wanz Dover (Mazinga Phaser, The Dotz).
Happy-rockers Meach Pango also have a new full-length. Distractions is the latest 10-song sing-along opus of frontman Alex Mackenzie’s hook-infused ruminations. The five-piece’s danceable, high-energy alterna-pop is enough to make you want to buy your own brightly colored Adidas tracksuit and try some high kicks in front of a mirror.
Stirring electro-singer-songwriter Andrew O’Brien has released his first EP under the nom de plume Andrew, dear. Count Me In’s digitally born production recalls the synthier moments of early Tears for Fears blended with the commanding yet understated voice of Norwegian singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche. Soaked in plate reverb with multi-tracked harmonies, O’Brien’s melodies twist around electronic drum sounds, oceanic keys, and shimmery acoustic guitar. It makes for a very compelling debut.
Prog-jazz/post-rock foursome Nautilus released their premiere full-length, Tidal Dreams, last month. Insectine finger-tapped guitars crawl over augmented chords and fill-heavy trap drumming, marrying the brain-twisting movement changes of bands like Don Caballero and Battles with the nautical imagery of Cali cult-surf icons The Mermen. This Denton/Fort Worth group dunks the listener deep into their sea of sonic atmosphere. Brief breaks give you time to come up for air before the melodic currents pull you back under.
“Another Gotcha” is the first new music from re-animated synth-pop trio Channel 69 in 25 years. The track is accompanied by a trippy video featuring guitarist Christian Mauch donning a gasmask. We also slept on “So, Julian,” an infectious new single from Mauch’s lo-fi electro-rock project Spiral Sound.
Arlington novelist and filmmaker Scott Honea just hit the scene as his singer-songwriter alter-ego Van Dyke Brown. A 10-song album of dreamy folk-pop called Holy Libel followed his first single “The Fair,” a jaunty story-song about dropping acid at a carnival.
We’ve also whiffed on In the Event of Moon Disaster, the first new music from roots-rock darlings Cut Throat Finches since last year’s well-received Polite Conversation. There are also new singles from some fresh Music Awards winners. Best Acoustic/Folk artist Christian Williams of Grace Kali released “Long Black Cadillac,” and best New Band winner Keanu Leaves dropped their I Feel Fine EP with some accompanying videos. Speaking of videos, there are new ones from heavy post-rockers Driving Slow Motion as well as occult-vibey singer-songwriter Cody Lynn Boyd.