Peel, Tammany Hall Machine, Lalaland

With a refreshing slice of indie pop perfection, three of Austin's sharpest young bands usher in a new wave of summer dormancy. Peel, in particular, has a penchant for turning urban boredom into distortion-driven ditties that always seem two seconds away from completely falling apart but never do. The slanted and enchanted quartet's self-titled debut, released on Peek-A-Boo Records, home to the Octopus Project, Palaxy Tracks and Black Lipstick, is instantly familiar—11 songs of fuzzed-out guitars that aimlessly attempt to capture and convey an ever-fleeting youth through unbridled bursts of twee pop. Tammany Hall Machine's sophomore outing Amateur Saw is a finely tuned collection of Beatles-esque ballads, lilted with big-band horn arrangements and the playfulness of the Flaming Lips and Apples in Stereo. Pianist Joel Mullins' effortless falsetto even wavers at times near that of Elton John. Lalaland falls somewhere in-between the two. The trio's Mumbo Jumbo EP, which was produced by Erik Wofford of Cacophony Recorders (Chairmen of the Board, March 27, 2007), sounds a bit like early Spoon, a synergy of tight percussion, jingly guitars and jubilant keyboards.
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Austin Powell