Literature: Arab Spring

I know we’ve been kind of light in our post frequency recently, but I swear we’re back up to full-strength. Various work and school commitments have left us all a bit frazzled around these parts in the last few weeks. That does not, however, mean that there isn’t some great local music still being produced, and we remain committed to discussing as much of it as possible. To that end, you absolutely have to know about Literature’s new album, Arab Spring.

Without mincing words, Arab Spring is one of my favorite records of the year – in or out of Austin. This is a fantastic guitar-based, power/punk/pop album, full of hooks and energy. When I first wrote about Literature last year, I compared them to the Buzzcocks and 70’s groups that combined melody with power and their album realizes that completely. Lead single “Grifted,” for example, has a propulsive rhythm section that never lets up, even as guitars build and swirl in a gorgeous outro that caps off a beautiful song. “Push Up Bra” borrows the jerky rhythms and horn sections from ska, without leaving its pop-punk roots. Closing track “I Am Right Here” gets at the hopeless romantic in me with the chorus, “Tell me what you think every night / This is how you spend the rest of your life.” More than once in the last few weeks, I’ve been driving around town singing along to this at the top of my lungs. It’s completely irresistible.

Literature - 'Grifted'

The real Arab Spring that began last year was about getting rid of the old order and harnessing the energy of the young. On Arab Spring, Literature don’t exactly throw off the chains of the past – one could argue that they’re actively embracing their history – but that youthful vigor is present in spades over the course of the album’s ten songs and 25 minutes. You can pick up the album for free at their bandcamp page, but you should throw a couple of bucks their way. Music this sweet doesn’t come around all the time – even in a musically rich place like Austin.

– Carter