By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Download: "Acts of Man," "Fortune," "The Horn."
The Orbans—When We Were Wild
The debut full-length from The Orbans has been a long time coming—some three years, actually—but it's been well worth the wait. This hook-filled affair will snag you at first listen and have you belting out its choruses by the second. Credit frontman and lead songwriter Peter Black for that much—and for the Ryan Adams flair the album boasts, too. Continuing in the tradition of Fort Worthians who step into the spotlight just in time to take the metroplex by storm (See: The Theater Fire; Telegraph Canyon), The Orban's country- and pop-tinged rock is about as undeniable as it comes.
Download: "Songs We Sang," "When We Were Wild," "Like A Liar"
Spooky Folk—Spooky Folk
This Denton outfit might boast the song of 2010 with "Bible Belt," the angry sing-along that bemoans being born south of the Mason-Dixon—to the point, even, of suicidal fantasy. A little extreme? Perhaps. But catchy as hell, for sure. For such a calling card of a song, though, it's not really a fair representation of the rest of the disc. Whereas "Bible Belt" sets up listeners to expect Americana fare throughout the album, the rest of the disc mostly revels in a downtrodden classic rock realm—and that's where the band behind frontman Kale Kaualoku shows off their melodic chops and shines.
Download: "Polaroid," "Bible Belt," "Darkest Shade of Grey."