Soulhat Experiment on a Flat Plane (Terminus)

Texas Platters

Record Reviews


Experiment on a Flat Plane (Terminus)

It's always Good to Be Gone, but six to seven years is way too long. Several music (r)evolutions have come and yawn since Soulhat's 1994 Sony debut proved a "Bonecrusher" on KLBJ only, but given the successful outcome of its rightful follow-up, Experiment on a Flat Plane, it's a fair conclusion that times have finally caught up to the long-shufflin' Austin musical institution. With critically revered Brits like Gomez paying local punk rock outfits major-label buck$ to import a sound once found flourishing on Sixth Street, Soulhat's sand-worn roots groove is finally the norm. Thanks in part to the movement of the past half-decade making Lone Star dust and twang chic again, the deep, rich tones alchemized by local production wizard Stuart Sullivan on Experiment on a Flat Plane not only sound like a million dollars, they provide the perfect launching pad for the local quartet's seamless musical interlocking. Combined with frontman/guitarist Kevin McKinney's prodigious gifts as a songwriter and drummer "Frosty" Smith's tasty percussive mulch, Soulhat's stone groove lends the album's 12 tunes a friendly familiarity. Sometimes, as on the wasted "Cash" or low-tempo "Skin," groove is all there is, but given a cornfield brimming with sweet kernels such as "Plastic," "Flat Plane," "Gone," and particularly "City," it's easy to overlook. "WNBA" is all net. Good to Be Gone, sure, but it's also Good to Be Back.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Light'n Up (Record Review)

Elise Barbin, June 14, 2019

The Infinites
The Infinites
The Infinites (Record Review)

Rachel Rascoe, May 10, 2019

More by Raoul Hernandez
Stream the Synth-Pocalypse on Pinkish Black’s <i>Concept Unification</i>
Stream the Synth-Pocalypse on Pinkish Black’s Concept Unification
Texan twosome shares new LP and email Q&A

June 20, 2019

Church of Misery's Doom-Boogie Bounces Back From a Mutiny
Church of Misery's Doom-Boogie Bounces Back From a Mutiny
The serial killer-obsessed fourpiece comes to Austin Terror Fest

June 7, 2019

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle