austin

KITTY COEN

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The Deli's SXSW Issue 2014 is online!

Read it digitally here.

P.S. 10k free copies of this issue hit the street of Austin during SXSW Music week!

   

There’s No Escape from FOREBODE’s Pit of Suffering

Immaculate production howls underneath tightly-woven riffs. Fuzz-laden guitars keep time with plodding and full-bodied drums, creating tracks that are dark and heavy, yet still cozy in that uniquely doom and sludge metal way. The music’s density consumes you (not unlike the figure on the album cover). Like a black hole, it swallows you. 

Opener “Metal Slug” winds a path between groovy, mid paced riffs and slowed-down passages. Even at their slowest, the band’s sonic textures are mesmerizing. Death growls reverberate over  thunderous drums in “Devil’s Due,” before the guitar and bass return to rip the track into a gaping sonic chasm. The song eventually breaks down, leaving behind only a haunting, wailing, sparse guitar solo floating over the rubble, before resolving in a few measures of brooding, chugging sludginess.

The titular track begins with an intimate, semi-atmospheric interlude reminiscent of maudlin of the Well or Kayo Dot. Black metal-style vocals are shrieked over the most vast and cinematic song on the album as FOREBODE shifts into their lowest gear, pounding the listener with measured, low tempo riffage and calling back intermittently to the song’s intro. The guitar solo on this track soars, piercing through a low, sludgy foliage of sound lurking underneath. The song feels like a small odyssey, the listener swallowed by the tides of a thrashing and unforgiving sea towards the titular abyss. 

The fourth and final track provides a redemption of sorts (or at least a respite) rom that pit. The music rides high, faster-paced than the sprawling cut preceding it, with tinges of more traditional metal. This is until the halfway point, where the tempo picks up considerably, and a shift to tremolo picking gives the listener surprising flickers of black metal. With The Pit of Suffering, FOREBODE transport the listener to another, darker place in four cathartic tracks, free of the more tedious indulgences to which sludge metal is prone. It is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of release that should be a treat for any doom or sludge listener.

- Tín Rodriguez 

   

Nobody's Girl Takes the Town for a Girl's Night Out

Nobody’s Girl’s self-titled album is the quintessential album for twenty/thirty-something post-college career women who have fallen in love with nightlife, shopping, adventurous cuisines and (how can I forget?) all the choice of cute dates in their new city life.

I should know. I was there once myself, and this record glimmers with memories of the excitement, hope and occasional frustrations I experienced when I moved on my own to a larger, vibrant city for the first time. Relatable in the way that Dayglow’s recent Harmony House speaks to and soothes frustrated teenagers looking for an escape from the structured expectations of everyday life, Nobody's Girl is an album embodying a particular demographic in a particular place in their lives.Recorded in 2019 at Texas’ Lucky Hound Studios but only released in late July of 2021 by a trio of woman friends with successful folk music solo careers, the album is by turns folk-pop, country-pop, bar band pop/rock and politically motivating Americana social commentary — all thematically woven together by reflections on the shared experience of post-college, big city womanhood in the internet age.

Abundant with harmonies by BettySoo, Rebecca Loebe, and Grace Pettis —- two classic soprano brunettes and one mezzo soprano redhead —- the band's undeniable vocal chemistry is as much a product of their airtight friendship as their mutual professional training. The accomplished and admired list of supporting musicians with impeccable credentials  include  Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan), J.J. Johnson (Tedeschi Trucks), Glenn Fukunaga (Dixie Chicks), David Grissom (Buddy Guy, Allman Brothers, Ringo Starr), and Michael Ramos (John Mellencamp, BoDeans), who produced. These male musicians never overwhelm the musical presence of the strong ladies of Nobody’s Girl, whose lovely singing imbues heartfelt, personal lyrics with effortless vibratto and a subtle trace of the twang from their respective Southern upbringings.

“Kansas” starts out with a raspy rock n’ roll riff mildly reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” — very fitting for a pop song about an eagerness to leave home, complete with Wizard of Oz references that makes The Chicks’ “Wide Open Spaces” seem tame.

“Rescued” is both relatable and funny. Nobody’s Girl sings “Don’t send up flares/Don’t send an SOS/Don’t send the National Guard/It's just a little black dress//The trouble I find is the trouble I run to/I don’t wanna be saved/I don’t want to be rescued.”  The phrase little black dress is sung with amused sarcastic confidence. Often  parents who have not experienced city life or singleness may not be comfortable with the normal hooking up, going out late on the town and other fast-paced city life that they worry will ruin their daughter's reputation or jeopardize her career. The riff and tune on the verses remind me of Survivor’s eighties hit, “High on You”, but the rest of the song displays expansive song-writing (particularly in the delightfully unpredictable bridge). 

Tiger is a complex take on traditional folk-pop tunes. By adopting (and absolutely nailing) a rapidfire hip-hop rhythm  at the beginning of “Tiger," and by subverting the silly “catch a tiger by his toe” nursery rhyme, Nobody's Girl keep the mood light to discuss a serious topic of their struggles with self-control in their new, adventurous life. The woman protagonist in the song successfully resists telling off her boss at a much-needed job that puts her on the verge of tears and she resists a particular booty call that only tempts her in the throes of loneliness and self-pity.  

“Waterline” confidently articulates a first experience with post-college career disappointment with zingers including “This is not where I thought I’d be right now. This is nowhere.” The waterline metaphor and those harmonies are folk song language but the subject matter lies in the here and now situations of a modern pop song. If there’s a bit in the chorus reminiscent of Avril Lavigne singing about her (not) happy ending on the radio in the mid-2000’s, it shouldn’t be surprising because the thirty-somethings in Nobody’s Girl likely grew up with that hit.

 

“The Promised Land” is compassionate political commentary as aesthetically pleasing and emotionally stirring as a Michelle Obama speech. It’s both Americana and pop in it’s style and topic — and its subject matter only works on a fun, metropolitan album because these women sound very invested in their concern for our country that arose out of their tour experiences in 2019. If they weren’t busy with music, they would have been out canvassing, feeling the Bern and pioneering for a better and brighter future.

The track on Nobody’s Girl that should be the one to break them into mainstream commercial success is “What’ll I Do”. Grace Pettis quipped in a Zoom concert that the tine is about “ that lovable mess who got away.” The lyrics’ exuberance are sexy and fun. “ My friends wouldn’t give this the green light/but I’m going to floor it!”  Some of the lyrics remind me a bit of Shania Twain’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much”’s sassy comments to the pretty boy love interest who would make a disappointing partner due to his head in the clouds approach to work and finances.  This song is so relatable and likable, that I hope I hear it soon on US-99 radio.

— Jill Blardinelli