A tale of two LPs for Sabrina Ellis and her alarmingly outrageous pipes, which flex, jive, and wail for more than an hour this week on two releases from a couple of Austin's most entertaining gutter balls. The first, Bobby Jealousy's The Importance of Being Jealous, finds the rowdy singer bobbing alongside hubby Seth Gibbs, who recorded the album in his East Austin studio and lends a healthy dose of self-started Superpop Records charm to the 12-track effort. The sophomore effort arrives lively ("Falling on My Face"), lighthearted ("Bang Bang"), and sometimes straight-up silly ("Fall Asleep in Your Arms"), with "Children of God" and "The Agreement" revealing a pop sensibility that bleeds through the quartet's disheveled, punky exterior. A Giant Dog parlays Ellis' propensity for the party into one of the first big successes of 2013, third album Bone, which charges forward at the knobs of producer Mike McCarthy (Heartless Bastards, ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) and doesn't let up until penultimate campfire sing-along "Ghostcest." Ellis and singer/guitarist Andrew Cashen form the unholy vocal union this go-round, with the pair's theatrical declaration toppling "All I Wanted" and recycled Sundae records single "The Grand." Elsewhere, the guitars on "Lady Slut" keep your ears ringing, and the over-too-quick "Virgin Girl" suggests there should be a few more horn sections rolling through Beerland every week. Bone's not altogether different from last year's Fight in attitude, performance, or ethos, but this one doesn't sound like it was recorded in drummer and Bad Sports/OBN IIIs ringer Orville Neeley's garage. "Can't Complain" about that upgrade.
(A Giant Dog)
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