Li'l Cap'n Travis

Twilight on Sometimes Island (Glurp)

Texas Platters

Li'l Cap'n Travis

Twilight on Sometimes Island (Glurp)

Who said no band is an Island? Brian Wilson's voices are one inside Li'l Cap'n Travis, the Austin institution's progressive roots and pedal-steel-induced psychedelia flying eight miles high as the '68 Byrds. "My Life in Amarillo," from LCT's 1999 debut, set the pace: slack. Lonesome and Losin', 2001, staggering "Pink Elephants" and instrumental NASCAR epic "Peelin' Out in Zeus' Yard," blacked out on the porch of 2004's … In All Their Splendor, whose "3.2 Beer of Love" sloshes Nashville's alternate universe. Now, Twilight on Sometimes Island ferries Thom Yorke & Co. onto the roll call, "Get Wise to Yourself" torn from the Radiohead handbook – banging, acidic. Rousing "Sugar Buzz," candy-store hand claps matching clearinghouse riffs, ricochets off instrumental opener "Violeta, Diamond of the Everglades," all nah-nah-nahs and pre-Calexico mariachi trumpet flourish. LCT's fourth platter sequences its sunspots optimally. Christian Braafladt again emerges as the dominant voice, both singer and songwriter, his twangy languor and rending, mending battle of the sexes yielding more 3.2 love in "Cherry Chapstick." Pedal- and lap-steel master class Gary Newcomb, meanwhile, becomes Capt. Travis himself. His electrolyte mist covers every corner of Sometimes Island, "Regatta" especially, while his own "Entertained" delivers another density-gaining Twilight wallop. Nothing should follow Braafladt's miraculous "Magic of December," minor chords whirling like snowflakes over a white Christmas vocal drift set against some Hawaiian suicide-hotline call before bursting into roaring euphoria. Matt Kinsey's "The Blinding Crash" follows valiantly, and nominal closer cum last prom dance clutcher "My Ship Is Coming In" goes out with the tide. True, no band is an Island, but the best ones strand you on the reefs of their siren sound.

(CD release: Saturday, July 7, Continental Club.)


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