Halley

Texas Platters

Phases and Stages

Halley

Forget the Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us (Hooked on Sonics!) The latest bright hope to come streaking out of the Austin sky, Halley has put together a remarkable debut for Hooked on Sonics!, a local multimedia company also responsible for the sharp design of the album artwork and music videos. Opener "Adventures of George (Record Player Pt. 1)" is a bona fide attention-grabber, with its subdued groove that bursts into a strobe-light frenzy as a bombastic barrage of horns kicks in. Spoken-word samples and other strange sounds cut in and out of the mix as the infectious brass arrangement carries it to its conclusion. Then "Heart Attack on a One-Way Street" comes forward with a sugary sonic spazz-out. The frazzled stop-start attack and vocal mannerisms recall Mercury Rev's classic debut Yerself Is Steam in all its chaotic glory. This might be a damnation if Halley's cut didn't conjure up every bit of the overdriven psychocandied fun missing from the Rev repertoire of late. Then Halley drops some subtlety on us. "Movie Song -- Trailer Theme," a construction of laptop beats and piano, soars on the back of distorted whale-song screeches. Mellow moments that sound a bit too much like MercRev's Deserter's Songs are quickly redeemed by "As Cheap as Fake," on which a funereal vibe gives way to an angelic chorus and what sounds like harp strings. The grandiose 12-minute finale, "Kites Are Slow Downers," exudes a Sigur Ròs-like grandeur, with woozy vocals submerged beneath atmospheric layers that peel away in a voluminous landslide. A marvelous ending to a sparkling first outing.

****

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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Comet
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005

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

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

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