Best Local CD Release (Tie) (2005)

The Tah-Dahs, Le Fun, and The Happy Bullets, The Vice and Virtue Ministry

Who knew that a couple of messy pop-rock bands could be marketing geniuses? On a stereo, The Tah-Dahs and The Happy Bullets aren't a perfect musical match. The former rocks out with bare-bones twee-punk while the latter mixes horn arrangements into its softer, Decemberists-loving songs. But the Dallas bands teamed up roughly one year ago to play nearly every concert together, often helping each other onstage for massive dual-band songs. Through the partnership, two disparate fan bases emerged as an even bigger pop-rock movement. Thus, it made sense in April for both bands to join the same record label, local upstart Undeniable Records, and release their new albums on the same day. Each shot to the top of the local charts that week and not just by the virtue of the tag-team promotional attack. Vice and Virtue, with the help of famed producer Stuart Sikes, is the cleanest, tightest recording ever made by the Bullets, and Le Fun proves that Tah-Dahs leader Roy Ivy is among the wittiest, strongest songwriters in town. With the albums seeing national, simultaneous release in November, we can only hope that this musical pairing works just as well outside the metroplex.

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