I like all kinds of music. Anyone who knows me (and even many who do not) know this. All kinds ranging from pop to country to electronic to rap to metal to just about anything that came out in the 80’s. Whatever. So recently I dedicated an entire post to mix tapes and then I went and made mix CD’s (because cassettes are soooooo 80’s!) for anyone who responded. Well, I got good response and I also made a new friend who is managing a band from Austin, TX called “The Black And White Years”.
For the record, right now Austin, TX is the HOTBED for really great music. The hotbed changes constantly (Seattle, Chicago, even Cincinnati at one point in time) but Austin has seemingly held onto this moniker for a while now. Austin is probably the best place to hear bands you might have heard of (Asylum Street Spankers, Butthole Surfers, Blue October, Spoon) and quite a few that you haven’t! The music scene there is hotter than the desert heat, and “The Black And White Years” are right there in the middle.
I got the heads up and a freebie disk from the manager of the group (Thanks Randy!) and I’m happy to say it didn’t disappoint! Produced by one of the former Talking Heads, Jerry Harrison, this gem of alternative pop has a little bit of everything. It sounds like a mish-mosh of Oingo Boingo and The Bravery with a lot of 80’s pop sensibility to it…which makes sense seeing as how the Talking Heads were one of the quisessential bands of that time period.
Lead singer Scott Butler has a unique sound (kind of a Danny Elfman-style vocal) and the musicianship is spot on. I would really love to see this band live to see how they perform some of these songs. Wikipedia lists them as an “indie electro-rock” band. That pretty much sums them up…and they carry that torch with their heads held high!
I have been enjoying this album for about a week now and haven’t taken it out of my car stereo. I predict it will be there for a while and I imagine this album will be on my Favorite Albums of 2008 once the year ends! Here are my 3 favorite songs off the disk.
- Write In A Book
Poppy and bouncy. A great hook and once it’s in my head I can’t get it out!
- Power To Change
The first single. Check the video!
- Zeroes And Ones
Very 80’s sounding. Perfect for me!
You can download songs off the album on ITunes right now! Or…go to your local independent record store and pick up the hard copy. Trust me…you’re gonna wear it out either way. So go check ’em out and let me know what you think!