IAMX, The Hourly Radio

Much to the dismay of metroplex hipster emos and grunge rock zealots, indie popsters The Hourly Radio may just be the next big band out of Dallas. They are making all the right moves with videos on the MTV-U channel and gracing American Eagle Outfitters' Web site with free music. They even have rock 'n' roll rebel tales of touring, as they admit to hitting a deer while driving to a recent gig—no word on what they ate for dinner that night, though. But it's their latest move that could step up their game. Their newest single "Gun in Hand" was released online last month gratis with several B-side remixes of previous songs; not only did they win over listeners with free music, but they did it with a considerably matured sound. Their 2006 album, History Will Never Hold Me, was alterna-pop hinting at a lighter Dandy Warhols sound. "Gun" echoes the complexity Depeche Mode started hitting in the late '80s/early '90s, and it probably doesn't hurt that they've been working with wunderkind producer Stuart Sikes, from Dallas, who's made breakthrough albums for Cat Power and the White Stripes along with producing locals [DARYL] and The Happy Bullets. Maybe soon we'll see them upgrade to actual MTV coverage and Gap ads.

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Rich Lopez