TeamUSA

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

TeamUSA

Listen to the Night (Startime International) It's hard to imagine a band like TeamUSA hailing from NYC, so it's no surprise that the quartet first came together in St. Louis. TeamUSA's brand of unrequited romantic pop is far from cool, unless your idea of cool is one embarrassing, crash-and-burn lesson in love after another. High cheekbones and studied cynicism are nowhere to be found on Listen to the Night, the album simply packs in one wit-laden nugget after another. Instead of heroism and bravery, "Saving Your Life" is about people (you know who you are) who insist on saving shoeboxes full of minutiae from past relationships. "White Lace and Promises" takes on a broken relationship from the uncommon perspective of a mutual friend who can't stand his buddy's cheating. "What Could Be Wrong" is sung with the pained resolve of someone who knows that good times will turn bad when their partner finds out who they really are. On a more upbeat note, the rumba-flavored "Skinny Dippin'" captures the first furtive gropes of sexual exploration. "Show me where to put my hands," pleads guitarist/vocalist John Mathias, "I have loved you for so long." Though their subject matter wins plenty of egghead points, TeamUSA refuses to let a witty turn of phrase get in the way of the Universal Friday Night rock dynamic. It's this quintessentially Midwestern flair for working the room that finally separates them from the equally witty but attitudinally lacking. (Saturday, March 16, Chile Pepper, 10pm)

***.5

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
Bright Light Social Hour
Jude Vol. 1 (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 8, 2019

Texas Platters
Charlie Faye & the Fayettes
The Whole Shebang (Record Review)

Libby Webster, Feb. 8, 2019

More by Greg Beets
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018

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