Friday, March 13, 2009

SMTX 78666- SMTX 78666

SMTX 78666
SMTX 78666

SMTX 78666 is a 19-song compilation featuring original songs from local bands The Jared Francis Band, Scott Biram, Robbie and the Robots, Eleven Fingered Charlie, The Cari Hutson Band, Kallisti Gold, The Jocks, The Subtle Creeps, The Word Association, The Wailing Walls, The Hatchets, Grant Ewing, Bernie Calcote Blackwater Gospel, Rockus Circus, The AK47’s, Chancla, Fambly and Apse Affinity.

Intended as a charitable cause and the brainchild of Robbie Doyen, lead singer of Robbie and the Robots, SMTX 78666 includes a variety of genres, including bluegrass, rock ‘n roll, hip hop, ska, punk, metal and blues. Partial proceeds of the CD go to AFFTER (Advocates for Fibromyalgia Funding Treatment Education and Research) in an attempt to fight the disease that afflicts Doyen’s father. Fibromyalgia is thought to be second most common rheumatic condition in the United States, affecting two percent Americans, according to John Hopkins University research.

The first track “Texas Beer” by Jared Francis Band, recalls the greatness of living in Texas - the best part being Texas beer. Comparable to American rock band O.A.R, the Jared Francis Band reminisce about their time in Texas and refute the experience of moving to Oklahoma - “Gray skies, Texas Rain - ain’t nothing better to ease my pain. Oklahoma is fading fast. San Marcos, Texas, you’re right on track.” The upbeat guitar and funky bass make the track one of the more jammy tracks of the album.

The foot tapping track entitled “Whitehouse Blues” by Scott Biram characterized by fast riffs and Biram’s rye soaked vocals is a banjo-picked yodeling good time. “Up in the Scene,” the Hip Hop Remix by Robbie and the Robots begins with emcee Omari Kamua laying down rhyme atop funky electric guitar and pounding bass. After a minute, Doyen begins with the lyrics “my favorite band is playing up in Austin and I’m going to go.” The poppy garage Texas country band’s lyrics are simple but clever.

Another standout track is “Snake Eyes” by the hip hop group The Word Association. The down tempo groove contains some profanity but keeps a perpetual harmony in its looped bars and numerous singers dropping rhymes. The track begins with a sole member rapping the lyrics “if you take a young man, put a microphone in his hand and push him as hard as you can - you have an artistic weapon. We have ten,” and concludes with several of the members chiming in “no surprise, you rolling dice with snake eyes. No surprise, you rolling dice with snake eyes.”

“All Night Ramblin” by Grant Ewing is a notable blues track featuring soft cymbal tapping, rolling guitar riffs, and the theme of drowning the blues with a night of alcohol “slamming.”

“Misguided Confidence” by the AK47s begins with ravage raucous screaming and Hot Topic-esque metal rock guitar riffs and drumming. While most of the lyrics in the song are difficult to understand, the track further proves that there’s something for everyone on the compilation. “Chancla” by Chancla which translates into flip-flop depicts the story of a boy disciplined by “number one tool of Latina mothers for discipline.” Featuring a few words in Spanish, the comedic song tells the story of a young boy being asked to make a chicken pot pie and throwing out the “basura” and getting lost in playing “Pacman” instead of doing his chorus.

The album artwork done by local artist Bonner Fowles depicts a laid back river floating experience on the San Marcos River which folds out into three part gatefold. The inner sleeve is simpler with tree leaves adorning the upper outer corners encircling the artist names, song titles and band website. The inner back tray features a girl tubing with a beer and cigarette in hand encompassing the overall theme of the album - river floating and house parties.