Austin360 On The Record: Bluebonnets, Digital Wild, Xetas

The Digital Wild have a new EP, “Tall as Trees.” Contributed/Philip Edsel

OUT THIS WEEK

Bluebonnets, “Tonewrecker.” With primary lead vocalist Dominique Davalos on bass flanked by twin-engine guitar slingers Kathy Valentine and Eve Monsees, the Bluebonnets boast perhaps the most formidable front line in all of Austin music. Elements of blues, punk, garage and pop intertwine to create a sound that’s best described simply as full-on rock ’n’ roll, in an age where that basic form seems increasingly a lost art. It’s alive and well in the swaggering sneer of Davalos, who infuses ragers such as “My Private Jet” and “Don’t Walk, Run” (nice play off the old Ventures song title) with attitude and charisma to burn. Monsees and Valentine each step out for a lead vocal as well, on “Bye Bye Baby” and “Make Me Shake” respectively. But there’s no letting up when they take the wheel; this is relentless ferocity from start to finish, for 11 songs in 36 minutes. Hard-pounding rhythms are integral to the assult, with Kristy McInnis, Christina Comley, Lisa Pankratz and Blondie’s Clem Burke all taking a spin behind the drums. Every song here is a Davalos and Valentine co-write, save for the gritty opener “Why Ya Don’t,” by the late Paul Plagens. Release show April 15 at the Townsend. Here’s the track “Fly”:

Digital Wild, “Tall As Trees” EP. A follow-up to the attention-getting debut “Into,” this five-song set raises the stakes for one of Austin’s most musically adventurous and ambitous acts. Co-leaders Chantell Moody and Chelsea Seth Woodward, accompanied by multi-instrumentalist James Blair, have an artistic yin-yang magic that recalls brilliant pop pairings such as Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart or Timbuk3’s Pat MacDonald and Barbara K, in that their respective strengths combine to create something beautifully unusual. Whether it’s Moody’s voice soaring to promise “love will save us now” on “Plume,” or Woodard alluringly chanting “this is my favorite part” on “Wait,” or their vocal trade-off on the inspirational “Take Somebody” (“it’s gonna take somebody standing in this crowd”), both the music and the message are mesmerizing. Release show April 14 at Empire. Here’s the video for the track “Wait”:

Xetas, “The Tower” (12XU). Ten new tracks from the punk/noise-rock trio following up their 2015 full-length debut “The Redeemer.” In-store April 14 at Waterloo Records. Here’s the band live at the Mohawk two months ago:

COMING SOON

  • APRIL 19: Ulrich Ellison & Tribe, “America.”
  • APRIL 21: Kiko Villamizar, “Aguas Frias” (Peligrosa), release show April 21 at Empire.
  • APRIL 21: BoDeans, “Thirteen” (Free & Alive).
  • APRIL 21: Emily Bell & the Talkbacks, “Kali” EP.
  • APRIL 28: Willie Nelson, “God’s Problem Child” (Legacy).
  • APRIL 28: Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band, self-titled, release show April 29 at Antone’s.
  • APRIL 28: Desert Culture, “They’re Not Gone.”
  • APRIL 28: Tara Williamson, “Evolution One” EP, release show April 25 at Saxon Pub.
  • APRIL 28: Beth // James, “All in Life” EP.
  • MAY 1: Bobby Earl Smith, “Calling Me Calling You,” release show May 6 at Broken Spoke.
  • MAY 12: Suzanna Choffel, “Hello Goodbye,” release show May 12 at 3Ten.
  • MAY 19: Jimmie Vaughan Trio featuring Mike Flanigin, “Live at C-Boy’s” (Proper).
  • MAY 19: Fastball, “Step Into Light,” playing April 20 at Saxon Pub.
  • MAY 19: Wild Now, “Afterglow” EP, release show May 19 at 3Ten.
  • MAY 19: Girling, “Side 1” EP, release show May 19 at Sidewinder.
  • MAY 19: Wendy Colonna, “No Moment But Now.”
  • MAY: Kay Odyssey, “What’s a Woman to Do” (Little Bit).

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