A particular word — “curated” — stands out in the press materials accompanying These Machines Are Winning’s sophomore album, Kuru.
The notion of curation is an important one when considering the music Dylan Silvers makes with his collaborators, as his projects tend to be some of the most vividly conceived and executed among North Texas musicians.
There are songs, yes, but the 16 tracks found on this album Silvers co-produced with Dave Trumfio are merely one piece of Silvers’ vision. Kuru anticipates a graphic novel, Slaves for Gods, due out next year, and is intended to examine “the chaos and unrest of this anarchist group,” according to a statement.
All of this would be easily dismissed as pretension, except for Kuru’s brooding, cinematic style. Silvers enlisted several local musicians to help realize his bleak vision, including True Widow (whose unreleased tune Moon 1 appears here), Phil Karnats and Austin Jenkins, among others. Whether through the too-brief instrumental Assassination by Design or the gothic atmospherics of Your Chemicals, Kuru exerts a peculiar hold. One of the area’s more fascinating releases this year.
Jack Thunder & the Road Soda, self-titled
The opening moments of Captain Adaptive, the first track from Jack Thunder & the Road Soda’s eponymous EP, sound as if the very instruments Preston Newberry (Jack Thunder) and Todd Klepacki (the Road Soda) play are about to fly apart. The song soon snaps back, becoming a reverb-laced rip-snorter and giving listeners an indication of the sort of ride they’re in for. These seven tracks, a ferocious psychedelic blast of rock ’n’ roll released by Fort Worth indie stalwart Dreamy Life Records, linger like a bad hangover — in the best way. Jack Thunder & the Road Soda celebrate the cassette-only release Saturday at 1912 Club at Hemphill with Fungi Girls and the Thyroids.
Mountain Kid, ‘The Realist’
Another union born from different bands, Fort Worth’s Mountain Kid finds Head of Savage’s Lewis Wall and Ethan Stone joining forces with the Royal Savages’ Addison White and Josiah Hunter. The band’s debut, The Realist, is billed as “post-indie space rock” on its various social media sites, and indeed, there’s a galactic tinge to these five tracks, overseen by Ben Napier. Opener Monotony is an attention-getter, but with the very next track, Feet First, Mountain Kid wastes little time getting psychedelic, which carries them through the remainder of Realist. There is no shortage of like-minded acts in town, but Mountain Kid isn’t interested in atmosphere for its own sake.
Preston Jones, 817-390-7713