Each month, we’re showcasing three mostly unknown Austin acts we’ve discovered on Bandcamp or Soundcloud, in the hopes of bringing them From Our Living Room to Yours.
Constellate- “Days with Wings”
I don’t know how many people remember the group Danielson, but they were a vaguely cult-y “famile” band (there was even a documentary on them). The music they made was orchestral and full of intricate harmonies and all kinds of crazy sounds and that’s the feeling I’m getting from Constellate, a band that’s so short on details on themselves they might as well be a cult too. Of the two tracks they’ve got up, “Days with Wings” is the stand out, containing a road trip rhythm to match its lyrical travel motif. The turn it takes in its second half is beautiful, with a group singalong blossoming from the escalation of noise, the vocals now partnered with strings and what sounds like a toy piano somewhere in the background, as well as the fleet guitar and drums. The album this track is meant to be an advanced single for is due out “some time in the wide and mysterious future,” which basically translates to “not soon enough.”
The Mystery Achievement- “Weird Mofo”
Austin’s got a questionable fixation on the word “weird” so I’m not entirely sure whether the Mystery Achievement’s “Weird Mofo” is a comment on that or just, you know, authentic weirdness. The band does certainly have a weird bio photo though. Sonically, “Weird Mofo” is some kind of Southern fried take on gloomy urban garage rock, like Kate Pierson collaborating with Suicide. It’s skeletal and grimy, just heaps of fuzzy licks and a straightforward beat and that vocal that sounds like it’s coming to you from the end of a very dark tunnel. The song only runs two and a half minutes, but it’s tempting to just leave it on a loop and see if any ghost riders emerge from the rattle and hum.
HADES- “D.D.D. (ft. Potent TAI)”
At the moment, HADES is like a vicious little secret in the Austin beat circuit, a crazed wunderkind making sinister shit in a house slightly outside of Austin, writing and performing his own rhymes while also providing production for groups like Space Camp Death Squad. You may have seen the video series he did recently called Pomegranate, which had artists writing tracks within an hour to beats put together from samples from the video itself. It was a pretty gonzo project, but it may as well have been a tease for what HADES was really building up to, his new album So You Will Hear My Maniacal Laughter, which launched this week via an incendiary anti-Facebook ad campaign that begged for a social media shutdown with its pornographic art. HADES is a lot more than just provocation, though, as “D.D.D.,” a track featuring longtime collaborator Potent TAI, ably proves. HADES’ production pulls from disparate worlds, working in electro flourishes, big crunchy beats and ample doses of noise. His flow is a match for the rage simmering within the noise, lines calling out nonlisteners and anyone that can’t get down with HADES’ work ethic. Potent TAI provides a smooth, clear but no less angry additional voice, making for a listen that seems determined to have you worked up before it ends. Mission accomplished.
Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics. You can also flip through his archives at Comics Bulletin, which he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culture, where he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover