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Boss Battle, The Nimbus, Tone Royal and The Villas: The Deil's Early September Artist of the Month Nominees

Deep summer is a good time for music in Texas. That weird auburn heat that comes down, part the blonde of summer and part the brunette of fall means you can actually get out about in the summer sun and take walks and drives and hang on patios and listen to some goddamned music without wondering if you’re gonna die if you don’t stay perfectly, freakishly hydrated. Change is comin’, and I dunno, maybe I’m alone in this, but it feels like a time when certain tracks and types of music fit the general mood of the earth that don’t always fit at the same time. It’s a pretty nice vibe.

Speakin’ of, here’s what we’ve got for you to vibe to for the end of the month’s Artist of the Month poll, and why we think they’re the shit. This poll is ending quite soon, tomorrow in fact, but we thought we’d give a little last bit of edge to the competition by dropping it all right here for you to gander at, compare, and choose your own personal victor. Put your ears under the tap and let it flow in, and then take that imbibed energy and convert it directly into a vote upon the voting block at your right, if you have not yet and are so inclined. We’ve got a couple early-fall appropriate electronic rock bands, and an introspective hip-hop act appropriate for that change-is-coming feeling, and an indie band that will soundtrack those last golden dyin’ days of the summer just perfectly for ya, so let’s dig in to this month’s selections.

 

Boss Battle

Boss Battle has just one track available online right now, but they are a band in the process of dropping hard onto the scene. They’ve only been around since 2014, but this first single “Ride” (which just officially dropped 8/31/2015, but which has been kickin’ around the net for a while) is some hard pounding electronic-heavy rock good times. As they call it, the “megapop dual lead vocals” dominate and drive this track that’s got a Mindless Self Indulgence pop/hard/electronic/weird thing goin’, but which is more trying to nail the good pop song instead of just weirding people out. Well-thought of and known Ohm Recording Facility producer Chico Jones provides one half of said vocals, giving this band his 28 years of recording experience and a notoriety boost off the bat, and a slew of recent shows and the looming release of EP “Attack Time” get Boss Battle their nod for this edition of the Artist of the Month poll.

 

The Nimbus

The hype on The Nimbus is a little early, but well deserved- the band is on the eve of a 7” releasing on September 17 at a show at one of Austin’s best and most underrated clubs, The North Door on East 6th and I-35, but we thought we’d nominate them now because of just how excited we are for more from this band. The Nimbus’ own take on electronics drenched rock music is stylistically, in turn, steeped in the 80s new wave and gothic styles, with clear dramatic vocals over layers and layers of melancholy electronics, heavy thudding beats and droning guitars. The upcoming 7’ and supporting shows along with the just-so-enticing teaser video released for the new record get The Nimbus some deep support here at The Deli, and the early but definitely warranted Artist of the Month nomination. Check out the teaser below.

 

Tone Royal

We profiled Tone Royal a few weeks ago just after the release of his damn solid debut album Rushing Greatness, and since even that short time ago, it seems like this man’s star has risen considerably. Right now he’s up for not just our Artist of the Month, but also is promoting himself in the San Antonio Music Awards poll and is climbing the charts at Reverb Nation. He was also recently featured in a My San Antonio article on emerging twenty-something’s from the area, and he’s got a big show lined up at The Korova (8/19). He was also set to be a feature at Weird City Hip-Hop Fest until its quite damn depressing cancelation about nine hours before this posting, but despite that sadness (that’s really a blow to the whole area’s hip-hop scene, and not just Tone Royal), this young man is making waves with the smart delivery on his new album, which you can read more about in our recent review here, and which you can listen to in full below.

 

The Villas

It’s pretty hard to make an impact with just a few songs available, but like Boss Battle above, The Villas have done just that with three lovely tracks from upcoming record Long Player. The Villas do a thing that’s very rooted in the traditional indie rock formula of the 90s and 2000s with little electronics, a punk-gone-nicer feel and big and/or surfy guitar chords over some twangy bass and beats that change-up pretty frequently. Vocals that equally snarl and smile and lyrics like stand-out track Julie’s that say “It seems to me/You’re the apple on the tree/Waiting for the sun/It’s my time” that hearken back to indie rock’s roots in approachable suburban-era good if a little cynical feelings make these three tracks stand up as some of the best Austin indie of the year, and make this young band quite intriguing indeed.





Veins - Moon Garden

Lounge-rock, or, a haunting, roomy version of pop, with plenty of groove and emotion is what Veins is pumping out. With the Moon Garden LP, this offshoot from blues rock is a dreamy romp through some beautiful melodies and heartbreaking lyrics. Lead singer Hannah has soul to spare, and the whole band ebbs and flows with the emotion from the songs encased within. The garage-pop of Diggin' In My Grave turns into a stripped down 50's ballad, complete with falsetto back ups and a tambourine. The first band-included song, Runaway Girl, brings a late night dancer with some real mean lead lines and a heavy groove. Chops aplenty from every band member. The disc is chock-full of great songs, including Nightmare Gone To Waste, one of the heavier tunes included in the mix, with a great brooding, ambient melody guitar, and an even spookier sounding lead guitar plucking and scraping away at the notes. The album winds down to close with a sparse, solo piano performance, with an orchestrated string accompaniment, sounding like it was torn right from a Lynch-ish or Tarantino-esque climax. All in all, the dream-pop of Veins Moon Garden is a great piece of art, keep up-to-date with their facebook for shows in your area. - Cody Wright

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Oh Geronimo @ The Rivoli

The well dressed, lovable scruffians from south-western Ontario are back en-force. With a new double a-side single, singular story arc music videos to match, Oh Geronimo are bringing their unique branch of electric-folk to music fans and high-fantasy fans alike. The new 7”, The Flood/Waves (TheFlood-Pt2) is crisp, clean, heartfelt, heartbreaking, and just plain good. The Flood retells the story of the band’s cliche, poorly maintained college rental house, the walls leaking and drenching their home and belongings in a seemingly unstoppable layer of misery. Allegory to the difficult, transitory period of time that comes with growing up, The Flood maintains a beautiful, determined outlook at a bleak, seemingly unsurmountable problem. The swirling, swelling music that accompanies is amazing in it’s layers, both rootsy and rocking, electric and eclectic, banjos and crashing drums painting a dreary, energetic picture behind dreamily harmonized vocals. Waves, part 2, is equally as moving, with the music growing and pulsating bigger and louder than it’s counterpart, but the lyrical content taking a crushing dark look at the truth; sometimes, it just doesn’t work out. Love and life have ups and downs, it’s typical but unavoidable. More unfortunately, not every story ends on a high note. Waves is seemingly short, with a terribly abrupt ending, as if we all drowned with the band, swallowed by the sorrow that can engulf us from time to time. The one upside is this; the music that emerged from the darkness is gratifyingly intelligent, nuanced and energizing, and altogether reassuring, as the darkest of nights usually end with the brightest of lights. The videos to go along with the new 7” are a tribute to high-fantasy, borrowing from the likes of Tolkien and George RR Martin. The costumes all seemingly genuine (I hope it’s not real fur for the leg braces, folks!) and the acting and effects on par, it’s a joking-but-not-really-joking take on fantasy realms from the Lord of The Rings and A Song Of Ice And Fire novels. The camerawork and editing capturing the dim and bleak feeling from the songs, as well as matching the aesthetic from the film/television adaptations of the novels, are wonderfully shot. The dedication to character and scene makes you wonder if all involved enjoyed themselves, with their shredded clothing and ever-present drowning (both in theme, and literally). Focusing on a band of travellers, ambushed in the first video, and confronted by an evil sorcerer in the second, our heros are left with an equally unsure ending from the singles themselves. We don’t find a conclusion, we just see the leader of the band, in both senses, up to his neck in rushing water with no help in sight. Find them playing 08/20 @ The Rivoli - Cody Wright

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Boat Culture @ The Smiling Buddah

When a band classifies their sound as “Pussy Rock”, one can only assume they’re merely taking the piss out of themselves. But there really is something empathetic about Boat Culture’s sound. That’s not to say the tracks on their EP Half Old lack a backbone. Boat Culture have patented a style of punchy power-pop occasionally tinged with swirling reverb. All this is successfully expressed without an ounce of jangle. So many bands feel the need to get all jangly with their sound when exploring this territory. Not Boat Culture! Each song on the EP holds it’s own so well, it’s hard to pick a standout track. So we’ll let you decide which one is best. With that said, it would be wise to catch them at The Smiling Buddah on August 20. Don’t miss out! -Chris PJ D

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No King for Countrymen @ The Cavern

These days, it’s common to find fans of indie rock with a nostalgic appreciation for early 2000s mainstream pop punk. While some dismiss it as a sound of yesteryear, others, like Hamilton’s No King For Countrymen instead choose to embrace the sound while incorporating it in their own style. The content on their recent EP A Year In Recovery channels this influence with modern indie rock production, resulting in five powerful tracks full of charging rock tempos and retrospective lyrics. “Alright You Win” a tour de force of heavy guitars, pulsing basslines and the signature passive-aggressiveness found in pop punk lyrics. No King For Countrymen have made a science out of blending introspective content with bursts of indie rock energy, all neatly packaged together with clean production. The Countrymen will be bringing their signature sound to The Cavern in Toronto on August 20. -Chris PJ D

 

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