Female Demand

Dear Houston,

I have no idea what to call your band Female Demand. They are all over the place. These songs rip my mind apart. “Eat Who I Eat” especially. It feels like some sort of epic entrance to a futuristic gladiator ring where I’m going to have to run in tiny circles from some flying beast that wants to kill me. The drummer in this band is incredible, and the guitars are so sufficiently heavy and loud in the mix. I think there are electronic sounds in there, but it could just be incredible guitar effect pedals.

Female Demand is confusing in all the right ways, Houston, and I will look forward to seeing them this Sunday at The Thunderdome here in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I hope you know what a good band you are sending up here. They’re playing with local wonders Young Wolves and Bang OK Bang from Nashville. Maybe you could help them set up a show swap in your town?

I don’t know what to expect, but I expect that it will be loud and fulfilling. Sometimes you just need to crazy loud rock and roll music, and I have no doubts that Female Demand will satisfy those needs. Please remember what a great band this is, and go check them out on the Internet. I’d recommend Facebook. They’ve got some nice pictures and songs on there, and I’m sure they’d love your support via increases in their play count.



P.S. Seriously, “Eat Who I Eat” is incredible.

Matt Harlan & The Sentimentals

Bow And Be Simple

Matt Harlan & The Sentimentals are exactly what you would think of if you were to picture what a songwriter from Texas is like. His songs are acoustic, lyric-based stories and self-exploring. He’s got a nine-track album called “Bow And Be Simple” on Bandcamp for $7. If you think that’s too much, you can always stream it at Mp3 quality for free straight off of their Bandcamp page. If you’re a fan of American songwriting and simplicity, you’ll love Matt Harlan & The Sentimentals. These songs are simple but lush, and it’s obvious that he means every word he’s singing.

“Too Much Going On” is my favorite of the nine songs on “Bow And Be Simple.” It’s a good extension of his main mantra to be simple and the arrangment is great. There’s a pretty little guitar solo and a lot of strong female vocals. The subtle guitar work on here is wonderful, and the percussion is absolutely tasteful.

Matt Harlan & The Sentimentals are composed of Matt Harlan, Jacob Chano, Rachel Jones, MC Hansen, and Nikolaj Wolf. These songs are very American, but they were inspired in Sweden and there’s a lot of maturity in them.

These guys are playing at McGonigel’s Mucky Duck on June 26 in Houston. If you like subtle, lyrical, acoustic story songs, be sure and check them out. These are very strong. They have a versatile dynamic range, and I’m sure they’ll keep you entertained. In the meantime, check these songs out on Bandcamp!


Tyler Heath

Let It Go

Tyler Heath has a lot of dreams and even more great songs. He’s a southern Texas native and he released a really incredible album called “Let It Go” back in October 2010. It’s on Bandcamp and it’s totally incredible!

He says it was the result of a year of songwriting as a means of dealing with his various personal struggles and successes, and he says one of the greatest lessons he’s learned is that sometimes you’ve got to “Let It Go.” How appropriate!

The very first track on this album, “Hours,” is full of so many great parts. The hook is so catchy in a sort of southern Texas alternative country kind of way. It hits hard right from the beginning, and the recording quality is great. The vocals are beautifully grainy and just on top of the mix enough to stand out and still feel natural. 

The persistent tambourine gives it a very Texas feel, and the refrains of chanting seem hauntingly mindless. It’s very effective. These lyrics are incredible. It isn’t often that I hear a song and immediately fall in love with it, but this song is sticking with me hard. It’s definitely my favorite on the album.

If you’re in the area, try to make it to a Tyler Heath show. If you aren’t, then just head over to his Facebook or Bandcamp and check out thse great tunes! He’s got plenty of other work, but I think "Let It Go" is a great first introduction.



Need some really interesting jams to cruise through the day with? Check out excuseMesir’s free demo on Bandcamp! It’s six tracks of really interesting drum and guitar work with interesting vocals and arrangements recorded, mixed and mastered at Steamboat Ampworks and released on March 8. These songs are perfect with any amount of attention. There’s enough going on to interest any music lover, but it flows well enough to be great for casual settings.

“Oil & Water” is my favorite of these six tracks. These guitars are doing incredible thins. I’ve got a lot of friends in Knoxville that I think would mention Circa Survive when talking about this sort of glimmering magic. It sounds great to me.

“Dead Weight” is another great track. It’s the longest on the album, and it’s a really interesting, building, moving, piece. It starts off pretty soft, and then it escalates for a while into a really nice full on jam. Once again, these guitars are great.

“Say What?” is a really solid closing track. There are lots of interesting intervals going on melodically, and the drums really stand out on this track. It seems to be one of the more mature tracks of the six, at least melodically.

If you haven’t heard of excuseMesir, head over to their Bandcamp! You can get all six of these songs for free! If you’re near Houston, see if you can catch them at a show sometime. This kind of music is always impressive in live situations.

Football, Etc.

The Draft

Football, Etc., is making some really cool indie rock down in Houston, and as of March 15, they’ve got a sick album on Bandcamp called The Draft! It’s ten solid tracks of good old, guitar based, female vocal rock and roll. Head on over for a free listen, or buy the album for eight dollars.

My favorite of the ten songs is probably “Lambeau Leap.” It starts off sort of heavier and more mature then most of the others. However, all of these songs are very mature, and this is a band that seems to be doing a great job of some serious songwriting. “Lambeau Leap” is full of very interesting drum beats and a nice balance of crunchy/glittery guitar parts.

“Hail Mary” is another great one on The Draft. It’s got a cool bass line right from the start, and it takes things a littler softer than some of the rest. That repetitive guitar part is really nice too. This is the kind of song I could see myself getting really into listening to it at full volume at a show.

The Draft finishes up with “Mouthgaurd,” an almost math rock, mostly instrumental track that comes in at less than a minute and a half. There are really interesting dynamic changes throughout the song, and there’s only one line of vocals. This is a really strong finish to a really strong album. Excellent job, guys!

If you’re in Houston, try to see the folks, and if you’re not, go on over to footballetcbandcamp.com for sweet jams!

Midnight Norma Lane

Moxy Kid EP

 Midnight Norma Lane put an EP on their Bandcamp page called Moxy Kid EP and it’s totally great. The cover is a picture of a little girl holding her fist up wearing some nineties-esque glasses and a backwards visor. This EP is six tracks long, and they’ve tagged it as alternative, post rock, ambient and garage rock, among other things. It’s totally worth listening to!


This band is made up of Molly Em’s vocals and guitar playing, and Jonah Perez’s on vocals, guitar, bass, and and drum skills. Perez also produced and recorded the Moxy Kid EP. It’s sort of droning, but in a totally great 90s-grunge rock kind of way. I think that’s probably what they were going for, judging by their ambient tag. Nailed it, Midnight Norma Lane!

“Junkie” is probably my favorite of the six tracks. It really demonstrates that ambient sort of grunge rock I was talking about. I always liked grunge, and it’s been a while since I’ve found a band in this decade that did it well. I hope these folks like the word grunge. “Junkie” has some really great guitar tones throughout, and Molly Em’s vocals drone along perfectly.

Head over to Midnight Norma Lane’s Bandcamp page to find out more about this garage rock band from Houston! Their home recordings are a really good sign as the first of their recording endeavors. Hopefully there will be much more to come in the future. You can download the Moxy Kid EP for free!

Record Setter

Record Setter is two brothers who’ve been playing together for about eight years. They’ve got five really honest pop punk songs on Bandcamp under the album title “Thanks For Listening,” and they’re all really great! Give them a listen! I’m glad they made the recent switch to Bandcamp. Reverbnation isn’t nearly as good for finding new music.

The first song, “Family Planning,” really sets the mood for this album. It’s totally pop punk, and can tell from this one what to expect on the rest of “Thanks For Listening”: honesty as the number one priority. They’re representing that Bandcamp “honest” tag really well.

“Basement,”the second track, is probably my favorite musically. It’s even got a couple of really heavy breakdowns in there toward the end of the song. “Morning Voice” is my favorite lyrically. It’s the easiest to immediately relate to. Everybody’s been in a situation where they’ve tried way too hard to get something accomplished with somebody.

These brothers are doing great! Sibling bands can really go either way, and I’m glad these dudes seem to work together really well. Go check them out live if you’re in the area, and if you’re not, be sure to head over to their Bandcamp. You can get all five songs on “Thanks For Listening” absolutely free! What a deal. I’m sure they’ll appreciate the download. Check out their Facebook page too. They’ve got some interesting artwork in different places there. Try to convince them to make that sick metal shirt.

Buddha on the Moon - 'Yard Sale'

This single first came out as a 7" in 1996, but it's more recently been re-released into the internet. Sounds an awful lot like what many indie bands are making these days, making it at least fifteen years ahead of its time.

Tyler Heath

Tyler Heath is writing really interesting alternative folk songs. He says he’s influenced by NEEDTOBREATHE, Switchfoot, Coldplay, and Mute Math, but honestly I don’t really see any of those bands in this music. I like most of those bands, and I like Tyler Heath, but I’m not making the connections.

The first track on his album “Let It Go” is called “Hours” and it’s really great. It’s incredibly driving, the lyrics are super interesting, and the melody is totally catchy. I can tell that I’m probably going to end up listening to this guy more than most of the stuff I’ve found online lately. “Hours” is probably my favorite track on this album. It’s really great.

“The Beast” is another great track on this album. It’s similarly upbeat and catchy. The theme seems to be a little bit more immediately tangible and understandable, but I wouldn’t say that I like it any more or less for that reason. The guitar riff is really catchy, and I love how this song seems like it’s a little bit uncomfortably fast.

If you get a chance to see Tyler Heath play a show, I’m sure it would be great. These songs seem like they don’t even enjoy being contained in recorded form. They’re just waiting to be played live and hit you at full force. Find Tyler Heath. Encourage him to come to your town. Then gather up all your friends and head over for a powerful modern folk rock show you’ll almost definitely love. 

March to the Sea - 'Forest'

This Houston four-piece's tentative first step into the world of the Bandcamps is already pretty great. The slow-building guitar rock demo they've posted thrashes around and bursts open in scrawny waves of noise. A promising start to be sure.