Art Rock

The Houston Press Singles Club: Giant Kitty, Dpat, Lace, etc.

This jukebox always has tracks to play.
This jukebox always has tracks to play. Image by David Garrick

The Singles Club is back this week and it's a doozy. Everything from a rock rager from Giant Kitty, an easy going tune from Nick Gaitan & The Umbrella Man, a distorted rocker from Narrow Head, a sexy and chill banger from Dpat, to an intense song from Lace, it's all here. While we appreciate you subscribing to this playlist and listening to these songs, we also ask that you support these artists through their live performances and their artist shops.

click to enlarge Giant Kitty went big on "Rampage." - PHOTO BY DANIEL JACKSON
Giant Kitty went big on "Rampage."
Photo by Daniel Jackson
If you're paying attention to what bands in this town are up to, you can't really get far away from what Houston's Giant Kitty has been doing for a good while. With an eager and supportive fan base, the four-piece has been through the ringer with members and found themselves in a place that feels really worth the fight. While their latest full length Rampage is full of tunes that you should find yourself falling for, the single "You Suck" really stands out as a mix between their punk leanings of the past and their upticked production from the new record. The song is catchy from the opening drum beat to the snarling guitar and in-your-face vocals that follow. Giant Kitty is growing as a band by leaps and bounds, and their latest album proves it. You can purchase music directly from Giant Kitty, or through most record stores throughout Houston.

Artists like Nick Gaitan don't come around every day, so it should be noted that we're lucky in Houston to get to see him pretty much whenever we want. From his days in Los Skarnales and The Octanes to playing with Billy Joe Shaver and now Nikki Hill, Gaitan has always made his presence known. However, going back to 2009, his Nick Gaitan & The Umbrella Man self-titled album was one for the books. Full of lush mixtures of Tejano and Conjunto fueled Texican, the record is one everyone should blast at full volume. The track "Meet Me Off Main" is especially amazing, with a hook that sticks with you for days, and enough Gulf Coast soul that you will hum it after one listen. You can purchase music directly from Gaitan at his shows, or through Amazon.

click to enlarge Narrow Head feeds the need for distorted guitars on their latest single, "Bulma." - PHOTO BY SETH GILMORE
Narrow Head feeds the need for distorted guitars on their latest single, "Bulma."
Photo by Seth Gilmore

There was a time when distorted guitar rock was such a big deal that you couldn't tell some of the bands apart. That was twenty years ago, but nowadays when you hear a band as solid as how Narrow Head makes distorted guitar rock, it hits with the precision and intensity that you want it to. On their latest single "Bulma" they take cues from bands like Hum and Helmet without really copying either, and give you a sound that you should immediately root for. The drums and bass keep the pace while the guitars and dissonant vocals just shimmer atop it all to give you a song that makes you hopeful for what they have in store for us with their next release. You can purchase music from Narrow Head through the band's Bandcamp or at record shops throughout Houston.

When Houston's Dpat was twenty-two, he'd already earned himself a Grammy nomination. Now in the L.A. based band Sonder, Dpat is definitely due for another solo release while Sonder finishes their successful run of shows. On his 2013 album In Bloom, he gave the world a slew of sexy jams, but none were as luscious as the lead single "Above Us." The song is so alluring that it may make anyone who hears it want to procreate or just have sexy time. Full of lush beats and sultry vocals, it's definitely a song you'll want to get inside your head, or maybe your bedroom. You can buy music from Dpat through the Soulection Records Bandcamp.

click to enlarge Lace is dark and intense, like all bands who mix punk and post punk should be. - PHOTO BY DEREK RATHBUN
Lace is dark and intense, like all bands who mix punk and post punk should be.
Photo by Derek Rathbun
If you ever wondered where punk and post punk can meet, then you only have to look at Houston's Lace. On their upcoming full-length Human Condition, the band made up of members of Cop Warmth, The Tontons, and Wild Moccasins prove real fast that you can't keep a great band down. Aside from the fact that the five-piece has some of the most intense live shows going, or the fact that they get aesthetic better than anyone else in Houston, their recent two song drop gives anyone paying attention a glimpse into what's to come. Both songs mix post-punk and hardcore in a new and invigorating way, but the track "On A Rung" really showcases how solid they are as a unit. The snappy drums, the harsh vocals, and the guitar attack coming from both sides of your speakers signal a new time for Houston punk when bands can take things to a new place while reminding us a little bit of our past in the process. You can purchase music directly from Lace via their Bandcamp page, from Deep End Records, or from Funeral Party Records.

That's it for this week's offerings. Don't forget to subscribe to the playlist to get the tracks as soon as they're added. While we'd love you to discover all of the amazing music on this list, the songs this week start with track number fifty-one.

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David Garrick is a former contributor to the Houston Press. His articles focus primarily on Houston music and Houston music events.