Vanaprasta, Air Review, Equals
502 Brushy St.
Austin, TX, 78702
Doors 8:00PM / Show 9:00PM (event ends at 2:00 am)
On their recent recordings "20,000 Ghosts" and "Wellwisher," The Rocketboys perfectly married themes of unity and brotherhood with rich, soaring rock, lifting the band to national critical acclaim. The band supported its releases with lengthy tours and multiple festival appearances. Almost inevitably though the rigors of the road took their toll, eventually rupturing the band's momentum in the winter of 2010-11. Three members of the sextet of college friends from Abilene, Texas left to focus on other endeavors, and the split nearly ended the band.
The resulting hiatus did have its upside, allowing front-man Brandon Kinder a window both to release a solo EP (under the name "The Wealthy West") and to pen the theme song for The Discovery Channel's new hit show "Bering Sea Gold." However, in the end, the three remaining members (Kinder, keyboardist Justin Wiseman, and bassist Josh Campbell) agreed they weren't at peace letting their collaborative venture cease to exist.
The initial hurdles of rebuilding, though difficult and disheartening, began to give way to new-found inspiration. Though the song-writing process drastically changed as a result of the reduced lineup, with less proverbial "cooks in the kitchen,” a more broad, dynamic range of ideas and visions than ever fermented and flourished. The end result and forthcoming album is Build Anyway. Recorded in their home studio and mixed by CJ Eiriksson (U2, Live, Phish), the album chronicles the emotions through the brokenness in abandonment to the search for peace and closure, both personally and musically.
Build Anyway is set for a June 5th release followed by national touring in Summer 2012.
"What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway."
- Kent Keith (made famous by Mother Teresa)
"Sometimes the heavens part and you are witness to rock immortality . . . Steven Wilkin's vocals are going to knock you sideways . . . Come bring your friends. You can say you knew them when." - LA WEEKLY
"If you haven't seen them, we feel sorry for you." - AUDIOPERV
"Vanaprasta so exhilarating at Echo -- they've graduated to the big leagues at light speed" – BUZZBANDS
"If you've never heard them, think of a more talented version of Kings of Leon." - THE DELI
"Two things were clear as Vanaprasta plunged into the chorus of "G-" on a cramped, basement stage last Wednesday night, the first being that a chorus need not have lyrics to be scathing or captivating. The second: this is a band meant for a much larger stage." – THE MUSIC SWAMP
"it all comes together on stage in a fury of dueling guitars, massive beats, time signature shifts, passion, and Steven's insane vocals. And they pull it all off so tight and professionally, like they should be playing stadiums" – LPP33.TV
"Top 25 bands at SXSW" - CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
"Top unsigned bands of 2010" - PUREVOLUME
98.7 residency band of the month for January 2011
Air Review strives to make creative music that is accessible to the casual listener and engaging to a serious music lover. It has never been about a guitar, or a piano, any one instrument, or any one style, but about solid melodies and fresh and engaging sounds–something to be both listened to and sung along with.
But there is nothing about Air Review that can be considered typical or orthodox. At the onset, the band decided to write an album before ever stepping foot on stage. It took three years of writing, rehearsing and recording in Irving Texas, but finally
the band produced a first album to break the mold of the typical debut: no gimmicks or throwbacks to dead musical eras, but 11 tracks, varied and distinct from each other, placed together to make a cohesive whole.
Not until the album was complete did the band launch their Myspace with 3 songs, photos and a documentary style video to clearly state to the world, this is who we are; this is the whole package.
The response was overwhelming as people from as far as Greece, France and Malaysia, immediately asked for more. But Dallas and surrounding areas seemed to notice too and after only a few weeks of internet presence, Air Review had over a thousand
Myspace friends and was consistently breaking a hundred plays a day. With having never performed live, and never really telling anyone beyond close friends and family, the band was energized by this listener response.
After four months of blogging, internet promoting, and rehearsing, Air Review played their first live performance for a packed house at Dallas' beloved Curtain Club. In response, Dallas music critic Kami Fuller wrote in The Examiner that, "For a first show, the performance was immaculately polished. It would appear that Dallas has a new frontrunner in the British rock category."
A month later, Dallas Observer's Pete Freedman responded to the band's sold out performance at House of Blues Cambridge room by tagging Air Review as "a pretty promising jangly pop rock outfit;" and observing that "they've managed to develop a
little bit of a buzz around their show--enough, at least, so that they're on our radar pretty early in the game."
Today, online traffic continues to grow as the band grinds away in the rehearsal room maintaining their polished live performance. The album, Landmarks, released in August, and the band is committed to stretching the norms of sound and performance as they present this first musical offering to the world.
The Texas-based band, Equals, hasn't always been the technical and tightly-arranged instrumental band it is now. The band's large soundscapes, searing guitar riffs and blitzing rhythms were products of evolution.
The members of Equals--bassist Alex Guzman; drummer Matt Toman; keyboardist Logan Wexler; and guitarists Simon McDonald and Dylan Storey--met in high school and college and began playing in several different projects that were musically diverse before fine-tuning their sound into a heavier, more cinematic approach. "When we first started playing in bands, the music always came about through improvising and then we decided that we wanted to have a band that was more composition-driven and wanted to create music with simplicity, more focused on the ambience and the sonic palette than anything else," said Toman. "Once we started figuring out how to apply a lot of the feeling and textures of ambient music, our music started progressing."
After a year of writing and gigging around Central Texas, they were able to hone their sound and write a collection of songs that would become their self-titled debut EP. The album was recorded by the band themselves in various homes and studios with Alex Bhore (This Will Destroy You) mixing and acclaimed mastering engineer Alan Douches (Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens) at the helm. The result is an energetic and technical composition filled with densely layered sounds, sharp-drum fills and attention-grabbing guitar parts. Every song plays like a mini-opus that charters new territory with each song. With influences from Tortoise, Maserati, Mercury Program or the more affable comparisons to Battles, the band continues to refine their sound and leave plenty of room to breathe, but shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
"The densely layered songs all have their distinctive storyboard of moods and textures, each one a lovely surprise yet all five somehow melding together to form a cohesive, cinematic whole." - My Old Kentucky Blog
"The young math-rock quintet works in angles, crafting clean instrumental suites with asymmetrical time signatures." – The Austin Chronicle
"Some of the more incredible instrumentals you will find" – Zaptown Magazine
"Equals might sound improvised here and there, but this is controlled, carefully arranged stuff." – The Austin American Statesman
"Incredible musicians" – Indie Rock Reviews
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