The Hourly Radio

Dallas drummers don't get enough credit. The metroplex is home to amazing skin-smiths, and while Adam Vanderkolk may not necessarily be the best to highlight during such a discussion, he plays a crucial role on The Hourly Radio's debut EP. You won't hear much in the way of crazy fills or tom trickery on Lure of the Underground, but that's because Vanderkolk knows better than to wank off while his band fills speakers with feedback-thick guitars. His loud, pounding play, pushed to the front of the mix, straddles the line between too-simple and too-complex with head-bobbing success, and the rest of The Hourly Radio does well to emulate his modesty. Imagine The Cure's louder songs without synthesizers, and you're close to nailing the band's take on Brit-pop, though tiny bits of Pretty Girls Make Graves and Radiohead can be heard in guitar lines that tend toward pedals and texture rather than solos and three-chord riffs. The Hourly Radio's guitar and bass parts fill the entire spectrum of sound yet somehow sound cohesive, and front man Aaron Closson caps the noisy affair with vocals like a fainter version of Tool's Maynard Keenan. It's a weird comparison, I know, but Closson's pining succeeds by adding emotional weight to the music, aside from a few distracting nasal cries. By EP's end, though, hardly a memorable moment lingers. The final, climactic shouts of "too much for me!" in "Stealing Off" and the Interpol-ish chorus in "On and On" stand out, but otherwise, this EP flies by quickly and smoothly and yet hardly sticks. That's a tribute to the quartet's hazy, well-constructed sounds, but the hints of pop mastery remain only hints. Still, Lure is tops for a six-song debut, proving that The Hourly Radio is off to quite a start. But whatever you do, guys, don't lose Vanderkolk.