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October 2014
Tetherball
"Whimsy
"
mp3

 

Steve Voss paints the picture of a mid-aughts major label stalwart that eventually buckled under the weight of feedback from the mess of people involved in the process. Framed with this context, the moniker Tetherball comes into sharp relief. At the end of his rope and refusing to be swatted back and forth into submission, Voss withdrew from Atlantic Records and his home state of Colorado. He receded to a studio in an industrial neck of Nashville, still tinkering with sound but with a very cracked perspective; essentially the industry version of Lazlo Hollyfeld.

 

Tetherball's album will officially drop October 28th via Silver Point Recods. Even if this backstory weren’t true, “Whimsy” still sounds like someone reveling in their eccentricity. It’s weird, and deals it out its peculiarity in mid-tempo canters and clearly-baked moseys. Sci-fi plays just as big of a thematic influence as personal experience, so if you have a taste for the slightly off-center, parts of this album will have you clapping your hands in delight. The guitar tone has a tendency to do infectiously cool things, like the jangle at the opening of “Vegetarian” or the tit for tat that kicks off “Bootss.” This album could probably play in tandem with any South Park episode and mirror it with frightening accuracy.

 

This is not to say that Voss has lost all awareness of pop sensibility. For very Primus off-note there is an alternative snarl, which makes for an interesting and palatable listen. Tetherball maintains a high level of theatrics throughout, from the grand sweeping boredom of “Hometown” to the Western swing of "Boulderado" the big top rhythm of “Spring Chicken,” a track that had me playing indie-rock matchmaker and wondering for a second how cool it would be to see them on tour with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down.

 

“Whimsy” is an amazing first statement from this fledgling band. It’s clear that this is a pin pulled from a grenade, and that the Tetherball dimension is something that will only expand. We can’t wait to see how this band evolves. Stream the album HERE, and check out their website at: www.tetherballmusic.com

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scene blog

Year of October "Behave"

Year of October "Behave"

As I was looking up Year of October on Facebook, I noticed that at the top of my "Invite your friends to like this page" list was JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. There is some similarity between  “Behave,” off their album “Stories” and JC Brook’s “Rouse Yourself,” mainly because they sing 'baby-' the same soulful, bitterweet manner. From there “Stories” digs deep into blues territory. Its heavy and biting, with organ and Phelicia Sullivan’s propensity to end phrases with a Patti Smith-esque uptick giving it plenty of personality. It’s good music for forgetting a no-good man, and the album is available for free on their bandcamp: yearofoctober.bandcamp.com/releases

Catch them at one of their many shows around Nashville this fall, the next going down at the Ruteledge on Oct. 17th. –Terra James-Jura

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