Sunday, November 20, 2011

Dubb Nubb’s Sunrise Sleepy Eyed

There is a lot of freedom and maturity associated with an American youth turning 18.  The Dubb Nubblettes are on their way to becoming all grown up and Sunrise Sleepy Eyed is proof that at least their songwriting is progressing by leaps and bounds.  This, their 3rd studio album, is 11 songs of quirky vocals, acoustic instruments, and breath-taking lyrics.
One would think after performing give-or-take 20 shows with these twin sisters (now + 1 more sister), I would tire of these songs, not so.  Every night I would look forward to singing along, “Tell me ‘bout my clouds, hangin’ over me,” on the moody, Karen O –vibed song.
The ukulele driven “Don’t Ever Find Me” gives the impression of Delia Rainey’s solo tunes as Dee Bird, but after the first verse drums and additional vocals spice up the short remainder.  This song is beautifully heartbreaking.
Delicate guitar playing by classically trained Hannah Rainey creates character for “Gravestones”.  The song crescendos to an anthem-like chorus, “I have nightmares about gravestones!” accented by staccato snare drum hits and a touch of cello from special guest Cecilia Miller of Knoxville, TN.  Cello is also a mainstay on the catchy “Tennessee Mountains”, the opening track of Sunrise Sleepy Eyed, previously released as part of the Shiny Mountain Split 7”.
An obvious Bob Dylan influence shows itself in story songs like “Johnny” and the chilling “Solider”.  The girls spin tales with their entrancing melodies; any assumed allusions to teen angst aside, these songs craft such imagery that the listener becomes emotionally attached to the fictitious protagonists.
The biographical story of a grandmother’s young romance adds the oldest Rainey sister, Nicky, to the mix as lyric-writer of “Kindergarten Wedding.” The hook of the song played by percussionist Amanda Rainey, on the beloved bell-kit affectionately named Glocky.  (Previously released on the Family Portrait Compilation).
The album finishes strong with a hometown tribute to the city of St. Louis, titled “Mound City Baby.”  The modest ringing of a single guitar string beneath biting vocals personifies the decay of the city “watch ‘em shiver, watch ‘em shake, oh this city’s gonna break,” all the while building with charm and a powerful sense of identity, “I’m a mound city baby, I was born and raised in the gateway, I’m a muddy river baby, and I’m comin’ home.” (also available as part of the Feels Like Coming Home Compilation.)
Sunrise Sleepy Eyed is undoubtedly the best effort yet by this young family of musicians. Every song is a single, standing strong on it’s own, combined forming a genuine collection that warrants listen after listen.  The sun is just rising for Dubb Nubb; there is a bright future ahead.

This album and more can be downloads, name-your-own-price style at:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

O'Brother's Garden Window

Be careful when entering your Google search; this isn’t the O’Brother from the hill-country, jailbreak, George Clooney movie.  The Atlanta band O’Brother’s new album “Garden Window” delivers gospel of a different sort through driving anthems and melancholy interludes.  With its share of reverb-splashed “ooooo’s” and “ohhh’s”, over-driven bass, gargantuan drum crashes, and the noise of 3 interweaving guitars, “Garden Window” shows the cohesiveness of the musical team on an deeply intellectual level.
Ethereal guitar moans swirl throughout the repertoire creating a bed for chanting melodies and the bellow of lyrics.  The beats of “Easy Talk” a’la MuteMath quickly break to crushing four-on-the-floor pounding.  These driving moments, reinforced by Isis-esque sludge-chords of octives set to make listeners’ chests rumble are juxtaposed with delicate guitar breaks and vocal crooning of almost theatrical proportions.
Eerie sounds and structures reminisce a neo-gothic era, Rasputina comes to mind… Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice! BEETLEJUICE! However the outfit keeps within the realm of southern indie comrades, Colour Revolt, fellow-Georgians Dead Confederate, and a cameo from Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull (who also produced the album). Another cameo adds yet another timbre to the pallet from which the album’s soundscape is built, the plucked strings and siren-like vocals of harpist Timbre Cierpke.
Never a boring moment, O’Brother takes advantage of all spectrums of dynamic, seeming like the only major key moment of the album the resolution of “Cleanse Me” alludes to clear skies ahead, but to no avail as screams and howls follow like monsters on a dimly lit path.
Dark like Brand New’s “The Devil and God are Raging Inside of Me,” yet ever looming anticipation of what is yet to come, a faint hope, “Garden Window” is an epic journey. The album ends with the requiem of the odyssey, “Last Breath.”
“If God is an acronym, Giver Of Damnation, why even bother with the concept of man?”
Prepare yourself for an hour, that seems like a lifetime, as O’Brother takes you by the hand and leads you through the Garden Window.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wavorly: The EP

The Wavorly EP
-By: Cory Taylor Cox

With a 4-year wait after Conquering the Fear of Flight, Mississippi Pop/Rock band, Wavorly will finally deliver the follow-up that fans have been begging for on November 11.  That’s right on 11/11/11 Wavorly will release a 4 song EP simply titled The Wavorly EP.
Moving in a different direction from their previous album, released on Flicker Records, the Christian alternative imprint of Sony BMG, the new, independent record is intended for more of a general market than the religious niche.
Produced by Jasen Rauch, former guitarist of the band Red, and Grammy Nominated producer Rob Graves, the EP is stacked with a quartet of radio-ready rock anthems. Engineer Paul Pavao mixed the new recordings; his credits include Hollywood Undead, Fireflight, and even Lady Gaga.  With an increased yet tactful use of sample-beds, one might even compare the catchy songs to prominent urban-to-rock crossover collaborators like Timbaland’s vamps with OneRepublic  
Opening track “Caught in the Middle” starts with a bit-crushed beat beneath lively strings, quickly reinforced by driving power chords from guitarist Seth Farmer.  New to the outfit, drummer Teddy Boldt’s quick hands flash through fills during the song’s bridge.
Wavorly may be targeting a broader demographic but keep all good intentions intact with the uplifting ballad “Carry You.” Frontman Dave Stovall’s voice soars during the encouraging chorus,  “I’ll take the world off your shoulders…” with his signature tinge of rasp adding to the earnest emotion of the powerful lyrics.
Founding member, Matt Lott’s bass holds down the groove during the verses of “One More Try” before the chorus erupts. The song ends with a stomp, clap, tambourine combo beat sure to get heads bobbing before the parting synth and vocal embellishments.
The 4-song experience concludes with the eerie “Part That Won’t Let Go.” Ryan Coon’s keyboard melodies remind the listener of Nintendo’s 1980’s classic Legend of Zelda.  The seamless connection of each member’s instrument builds this final number to a moody, epic masterpiece leaving listeners with just enough taste in their mouths to want more.
 The Wavorly EP is available on iTunes.
 Wavorly will be playing Nashville's Rutledge on Monday Nov. 21  w/ Run Kid Run for a duel CD release show! Also featuring Stephanie Smith.