With surprisingly little fanfare, in the waning weeks of 2015, DFW indie-pop trio Titanmoon released its first album in two years, Masquerade.
The follow-up to 2013’s lush Bang Bang, the 11-track album quietly appeared on Soundcloud the week before Christmas, with the band simply posting on Facebook, “We are throwing our new album … at you via Soundcloud. We would love to hear what you think! Happy Holidays!”
While the release might seem spur-of-the-moment, the songs crafted by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tyler Casey, bassist Zack Felton and guitarist/backing vocalist/synth player Austin Alvis are anything but rushed.
As has become Titanmoon’s trademark, Masquerade is full of cinematic, darkly gorgeous compositions — the opening one-two punch of Blackout and Fashion Model is exquisite in its evocation of post-punk shadows and alluring pop melodies — and the record’s cumulative effect is not unlike being hypnotized by scenes from an elliptical art-house film, flickering before you on a screen practically swallowing you whole.
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Mercury Rocket, ‘Mindbenders’
Dallas trio Mercury Rocket — Ben Fleming, Graham Brotherton and Krissy Arnold — bills its sound as “psychedelic shoegaze,” so it’s little wonder that the band’s debut release, Mindbenders, is being ushered into the world by Fort Worth’s preeminent purveyor of otherworldly rock n’ roll, Dreamy Soundz Records (the release is a joint venture with Dallas’ similarly inclined Moon Sounds Records). Pressing play on Mindbenders is not unlike launching your mind into the exosphere, floating on the edge of space, and letting Fleming’s vocals breeze through your mind. Songs like the seven-minute Second Sight settle in slowly, blooming and taking on more fascinating dimensions as they unfold. Mercury Rocket will celebrate the LP’s release Saturday with a show at Fort Worth’s 1912 Nite-Club.
Larry Legion, ‘Forest of Swords’
Look closely at that menacing, paint-streaked face adorning the cover of Forest of Swords. These six tracks are credited to Larry Legion, but in reality, it’s a musical mask worn by prolific Denton singer-songwriter Daniel Markham, who, in a conservative estimate, has released 1,385 pieces of music to date. (Just kidding, but he does stay pretty busy.) Swords is a far cry from the music Markham usually makes — it’s the second release under the Legion nom de tune, following a 2014 “self-titled” debut — but this black-metal concept album provides plenty of harrowing thrills for those needing a plunge into the darkness. Markham will perform Friday at Dan’s Silverleaf and Saturday at Dallas’ Three Links.