Household Names The Trouble With Being Nice (Top 40)

Texas Platters

Record Reviews

Household Names

The Trouble With Being Nice (Top 40)

Talk about top of the pops. Between Darin Murphy, the Love Supreme, Shane Bartell, Sparkwood, and Household Names, the Continental Club should seriously think about having another birthday party for Elvis -- Elvis Costello. Besides, no recent UK band is as Suede-evoking as "Carousel" on The Trouble With Being Nice, and the fistfuls of glam-drenched guitar and handclap choruses of "Bright Spot" hark back to the heyday of Oasis (remember them?). And if the opening rhythm of "One of Two Things" isn't outright fealty to AC/DC's "Back in Black," PJ Harvey needs more eye make-up. All things considered, Household Names admirably passes the test that must be applied to every pop album: It's catchy enough to get inside your head without being so derivative it wastes your time. There's too much talent in "The Great American Public" and "I'm Just the Rain" for that to be true, and "On to Me" rocks all over a melody the way the Kinks used to, even better than Blur. The Trouble With Being Nice sounds better the louder it's played, because the bigger the music is, the more memorable it gets. If Jason Garcia keeps cranking out near-anthems like "Crown of Thorns" and "God, Athena," locals will have no problem remembering, and the Brit-sized boast of his chosen moniker just might happen.

*** 

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
The Crack Pipes
Fake Eyelashes (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 9, 2018

Texas Platters
Texacala Jones
Pony Island Express (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, Nov. 9, 2018

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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