I just received a record (big, black, shiny, made of wax) in the mail today from a band called Guitars from Houston, Texas. Being a vinyl fanatic I was already a sympathetic ear but I was more than surprised by the music emanating from the grooves.
Guitars "White Night, White Night" reminded me of the type of recordings I devoured on Homestead and SST in the late 80's and early 90's. When every band had a unique point of view and an eclectic sense of self. Guitars definitely seem cast out of this era of truly independent music.
At its heart, Guitars is laconic, inventive, and textured. The musical and vocal melodies are deceptively simple and boast a regional flavor. I was reminded of early Sonic Youth filtered through a Texas back porch screen door. Other influences include Tom Verlaine, Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Rolling Stones "Exile on Main Street" period.
I Can't Wait leads off the record sounding like the aural equivalent of highway driving with all the windows down in midday heat. The scenery rushing by and dissolving into the rear view mirror.
The Black Mass could be held in a Velvet Underground church with the male/female choir delivering the songs sermon.
Waiting For A Good Time features a catchy and slightly out of tune main riff and Kim Gordon-esque vocals. This song really captures Guitars playful and unmistakable Texas sheen. It manages to sound like a house party set to music.
Stupid Light is almost country in its approach. This pill infused mid-tempo track reminded me of the Drive-By Truckers on Vicodin. Even amidst the loose vibe, the arrangement is deceptively tight and focused.
It's Probably Inevitable is a sweet, Velvet Underground reminiscent lullaby. The vocals on this song hint at more advanced songwriting in future releases. There are nice blues inspired leads, delivered over some pretty arpeggios on the guitar. The organ fills out the soundscape culminating in a fiery climax.
The Number is 60's Psych-Rock, drug-soaked bash and pop, steeped in the tradition of fellow Texans the 13th Floor Elevators.
State Line has the country feel of Stupid Light with a nice jam closing out the song.
I'd Never Lie is a straight ahead rocker with a hooky chorus. Shades of reverb laced guitars emerge out of the din.
Blood Muff is also in the psychedelic vein, with effect laden guitars and shimmery walls of sound. There are some nice male/female harmonies sprinkled throughout. I would love to see this pushed further in subsequent offerings, as the two voices meld well together.
Not This Time is another tune that leans toward country. Here the flat vocal delivery is perfectly suited to the spacey instrumental backing.
I look forward to seeing the band play live to get the complete picture but this recording bodes well and should garner college radio play.