The first half of 2014 has been a strong one for beloved acts with strong ties to the North Texas region. The new albums from St. Vincent and the Old 97's have sent fans and critics looking for new superlatives, and rightfully so. Now we can add Centro-matic to the list with next week's release of the estimable group's latest studio album, Take Pride in Your Long Odds. It's another gem in the crown of Will Johnson, Scott Danbom, Matt Pence and Mark Hedman.
The band will be hitting the road starting today for a short run of shows throughout Texas and the Midwest, finishing off with a pair of Dallas performances at Good Records and Kessler Theater in the middle of June. They also revealed a free stream of Long Odds, which you can listen to after the break.
First debuted over on Paste's website, a couple of noteworthy items are apparent when it comes to this latest work. First and foremost, each song feels like a Centro-matic tune, even though there are a couple of slight sonic departures. The grit of the forcefully pounded electric guitars and the gravel in Johnson's voice make for signature songs that most indie-rock fans will immediately place with Centro-matic.
But throughout Long Odds, we're reminded that Centro-matic isn't a group to serve up the easiest listening pop-tunes. With this record like those before it, it's not a good idea to listen passively, as you're certain to miss something pretty cool. The opening, title track of the new record is a deliberately paced instrumental that feels ominous and rough while retaining a skillful elegance. The album's second track, "Every Mission," pleasingly comes off as Centro paying tribute to Springsteen with a heartland fist pumper. The song that's been given the first video from the album, "Salty Discipline" (which can only be seen on the A.V. Club until May 31) is a sick, dirty rocker with crunch and groove that might be as ideal of a vehicle for Johnson's grizzled screech as any song could be.
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Here's the full stream of the album:
And here's the band's full run of tours, leading up to their Dallas appearances at Good Records and the Kessler:
5/30 -- Sam's Burger Joint -- San Antonio, Texas 5/31 -- Mohawk -- Austin, Texas 6/3 -- Waterloo Records -- Austin, Texas 6/ 6 -- Twangfest -- St. Louis, Missouri 6/7 -- Beat Kitchen -- Chicago, Illinois 6/8 -- The Frequency -- Madison, Wisconsin 6/9 -- Icehouse -- Minneapolis, Minnesota 6/10 -- Icon -- Sioux Falls, South Dakota 6/11 -- Riot Room -- Kansas City, Kansas 6/13 -- Good Records -- Dallas, Texas 6/14 -- Kessler -- Dallas, Texas