All Hail—Truth, Love, War: Their EP Every Wealth mixed at Public Hi-Fi with the assistance of Jim Eno (Spoon), the debut EP sought to bring the band’s poetic lyrics and unique musical interplay to the forefront of the Austin scene. Moving on to the full-length Truth, Love, War, the album represents a giant leap forward for a band that displayed such promise with their debut. Equipped with the swirling viola, synth, and piano majesty along with guitars that provoke melody and style. The album is set for release this fall. www.myspace.com/allhail 5.0 McRiprock’s.
Sugar & Gold—AYA EP: Androgynous and genreless, the freaky five-some that is out of San Francisco undulate somewhere between the sexy and mischievous minimalism of Glass Candy and the intricate pop production of Of Montreal. There is sludgy thick synth bass and slinky Italo arpeggiation and are oftentimes decked out in a three-piece suit or simply boxer shorts and socks. Sugar and Gold is a spectacle of magic and celebration. Electronic workouts with syncopation and psychedelic guitar frame the band. Their on-stage performance is mayhem live energy and is firmly rooted in the astute rhythms and smooth synth steadily. On tour for what seems like forever they are crossing the country and will be in town for Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. 4.5 McRiprock’s.
John Orr Franklin—Transformation: Franklin’s sophomore album was written, recorded and produced in his recording studio in Austin. He prefers that his music stays categorized as progressive rock saying, “A lot of my heroes and musical influences are in the progressive rock genre, so it makes sense that my music would also fall into this realm.” In this album he makes nods to Alan Parsons, Pink Floyd, John Lennon and Tom Petty. The album features Franklin on vocals, guitars and keyboards, Rob Palladino on drums, background vocals and percussion, Brandon Aly on drums and percussion, Josh Batschelet on upright and electric bass guitars and Kris Mathesen on electric bass guitar and percussion. Transformation represents the completed ideal vision that inspired Franklin to establish a sense of ownership over the sound of his music bringing him into his own as a songwriter. He hopes his music provides a respite form the things in life that are negative. The song “Transformation,” as well as others on the album, deals with self empowerment and the ideal that we can make positive changes in our lives if we choose to walk that path. 4.0 McRiprock’s