Art Rock

Houston Press Singles Club: Young Mammals, Pearl Crush, Mojave Red, etc.

Image by David Garrick
This jukebox is full of jams that cost nothing to play.

Now that it's a new year, The Houston Press Singles Club is going just as strong as we did when we began. This week we'll have an indie rock jam from Young Mammals, an emo tune from Donna Hayward, a pop infused track from Pearl Crush, a fun punk infused pop banger from K. Campbell, and a trippy tune from Mojave Red. While we appreciate you subscribing to this playlist, we remind you that these bands can keep making music when you support their efforts through their music, merchandise, or paying to see them perform.

click to enlarge Young Mammals proved they could fire on all cylinders with their last album. - PHOTO BY TREY FRGUSON
Young Mammals proved they could fire on all cylinders with their last album.
Photo by Trey Frguson
It's hard to believe that Houston's Young Mammals have been dropping music since 2010, and before that even longer under the name The Dimes. In that time we've gotten to see them grow as artists into a well oiled machine. On their last album, 2016's Jaguar they proved that machine is firing on all cylinders. While there are plenty of tracks to blast at full volume, the song "Rat in the Summer" has all of the elements that make this four piece so amazing. The honey dripped guitar tone, the jangly stride, and the indie rock vibes that all come together here showcase that these four are definitely doing things correctly. You can purchase the band's music from them when they perform, at most local record shops, or directly from them on their Bandcamp page.

Emo music is full of bands that don't seem to foot the bill for what the genre began with. However that's not the case with Houston's Donna Hayward. While these three haven't been together for a really long time, they certainly sound like seasoned veterans all over last year's Split. Though the release is only three tracks long, there's plenty of weight to the songs on it, most notably the song "Westover." The slow beginning, the time changes, and the heavier and more intense vocals that come in on the latter half of the song are all markers for what defines the genre, as well as those who lead it. You can purchase music from Donna Hayward when they perform, from Miss Champagne Records, and from the band's Bandcamp.

Pearl Crush will make your head bop and give you all of the feels at the same time. - PHOTO BY DANIELA GALINDO
Pearl Crush will make your head bop and give you all of the feels at the same time.
Photo by Daniela Galindo

The indie pop landscape is full of so many sub-genres that keeping up with them all can be pretty mind numbing. Though with Houston's Pearl Crush, the music is just as catchy as anything from the mainstream pop world. On their release First Blush they let it be known real fast that they are a band to keep an eye on. While both songs on the release are worth lending an ear to, the song "First Blush" is pretty hard not to love. Full of hook heavy sounds, jingled guitar and endearing vocals, Pearl Crush definitely makes you want to bop your head and sing along.  You can find the band's music at local record stores or purchase it directly from them at their shows or from them on Bandcamp.

The world of pop punk is littered with bands that seem to let you down with their almost bro type antics and borderline frat boy demeanor. Though, when you look at Houston's K. Campbell who makes power pop with punk leanings, the overall vibe is more positive than anything Fat Mike ever uttered. Keep in mind, Campbell isn't really pop punk, but he's not traditional pop or traditional punk either. All over his 2017 album Pure Pop For Jaded Punks, there are songs that any fan of any genre could find lovable, though it's the opening track "No Cops" that might make you place the entire album on repeat. Full of pop notations and punk sensibilities, Campbell keeps your head moving and your ears glued to every note he drops. You can grab music from Campbell when he performs, or purchase it directly from his Bandcamp.

click to enlarge Mojave Red have begun to take the psych rock world to a whole new space. - PHOTO BY ELIZABETH RHODES
Mojave Red have begun to take the psych rock world to a whole new space.
Photo by Elizabeth Rhodes

Psych rock is a term that depending on who you ask, might get used a bit too much. For Houston's Mojave Red, the genre of psych rock is a world they inhabit, yet they're so much more than the rest of the field. Mixing trippy notes with the occasional blues infused riffs, they've never really done what anyone else in that genre has done. Last year they dropped the single "Fading Out," and took their sound to a whole new place. Incorporating pop hooks and a super catchy pace, this four piece has only started to show us what they'll do to expand the psych rock world. You can purchase music from most record shops in Houston, from the band when they perform, or directly from their Bandcamp page.

That's it for this week, though if you subscribe to this playlist, you can get the songs as soon as they're added. This week's songs begin with track No. 41.