Monday, June 14, 2010

Young Mammals: Messin' with Texas

Brooklyn may be the music capital of the universe, but don’t tell that to Texas. Every year, Austin hosts thousands of festival fans at South by Southwest in the spring and Austin City Limits in the fall. To the north, Denton may be the next Austin and is an indie rock hub in its own right. And while Houston is best known for oil and Mission Control, the city is also home to Young Mammals, whose fusion of indie and surf-rock sounds is the latest addition to FP's summer playlist.

Carrots, the forthcoming record from Young Mammals, is short and sweet: 35 minutes of exuberance and controlled chaos. Most of the 11 songs are upbeat rockers with more drum rolls than a weekend with The Ventures.  While three of the four band members are Mexican-American, their sounds owes more to gringo gods. Lead singer Carlos Sanchez sounds like Frank Black with a sense of pitch. And the relentlessness and repetitiveness of the guitar and bass lines recalls a host of rock bands from the last 40 years, from The Velvet Underground to FP Top 5 Throwback band Surfer Blood.

Young Mammals, Confetti

Playfulness rules the record, with odes to model trains, dragon wagons, and trips to the beach. "Duck" shouts out to actual mammals like cows, horses, cats, pigs, and rats. And songs like 848 ("If Jesus knew how to talk/Lester would be upset") further the impression that the Mammals use words less for  narrative or emotional meaning than for amusement. 

Young Mammals, 848

Young Mammals, The Man in the Cannon

Carrots drops on June 22.  Meanwhile, the band's hometown Houston Press has anointed Young Mammals as their Artist of the Week. And the YM summer tour includes a slot at the upcoming Northside Festival in Brooklyn, previewed last week on Frontier Psychiatrist.  One more reason to jump on the G Train.


No comments:

Post a Comment