From Our Living Room to Yours 5: The Best of Austin Bandcamp

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Each week, we’re showcasing three mostly unknown Austin acts we’ve discovered on Bandcamp, in the hopes of bringing them From Our Living Room to Yours.

Quality Floods – “Plaesxin”

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one burned out on garage-y psych rock in Austin. It’s so fucking omnipresent that it all starts to blur together after a while, a mess of reverb-drenched shitty guitars and wavy lines. By all rights, Quality Floods should be an instant turn off if you’re in the same camp as me, but their track “Plaesxin” has me clicking repeat and not even feeling like I’m cheating on my own taste. That’s likely due to the fact that unlike most of Austin’s psych acts, Quality Floods sound like they’re having a shitload of fun, what with the unhinged temper tantrum vocals and drums that sound like a heart attack in the making and the “pizza wave” genre tag. With a sound that’s somewhere between early BRMC and the Willowz, “Plaesxin” is an upturned hotel room at 45 RPM, snotty and loose and debauched. It’s almost enough to make me rethink that psych bias.

Apek – “Open Up Your Eyes (ft. BeOnd of Acid Reign)”

More and more of the Austin hip-hop tracks popping up online these days have a West Coast feel and Apek’s “Open Up Your Eyes” is no exception. Starting with its sunny, sped up sample of the Grass Roots’ “Wake Up, Wake Up,” “Open Up Your Eyes” recalls trips down the Pacific Coast Highway more than it brings to mind a ride down Mopac. That’s not a knock at all, especially since sloppy, drab production has stalled out more Austin hip-hop than anything else. But Apek brings the goods on the mic, too, locking into a groove with BeOnd that makes a Jurassic 5 comparison obvious, given the production style. Apek’s focus is more psychedelic, though, and that’s where the Austin aspect comes in to play, as the lyrics have a hallucinatory feel that matches the similarly trippy album art. This is just a tease before Apek’s upcoming EP Resistance is Futile, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Pollen – “Not a Test”

Does anyone else remember the promise of the Futureheads? About a decade ago, they seemed poised to usher in an era of awkwardly danceable post-punk that pillaged the back catalogs of XTC and Kate Bush at a time when everyone else was hip to Gang of Four’s Entertainment! Judging by “Not a Test,” Pollen hasn’t forgotten the Futureheads and I hope I’m not the only one who’s glad about that. Packing jangly guitars and off-kilter girl group harmonies, Pollen sound a lot larger than their trio status would lead you to believe. “Not a Test” is more crammed than anything the Futureheads ever released, but that works to Pollen’s favor, granting the track an anxiousness that makes its less-than-three-minute run time as action packed and tense as a crime spree. This is the kind of throwback that’s easy to get behind, more than sum of its referential parts and infectiously fun.

– Nick Hanover