For years now, Centro-matic, a band that began in Denton well over a decade ago, has been known as a prolific group that has risen to a rather lofty status in the world of American Indie-rock. Led by Will Johnson, now an Austinite, the band hasn’t yet put out a record that one would consider anything less than stellar.

The band members themselves are highly sought after when it comes to contributing their individual talents to other’s projects, even. Johnson was the touring drummer for the massive Monsters of Folk project, and he also played guitar on Patterson Hood’s (Drive by Truckers) last solo album. Of course, that’s aside from his many producing projects. Drummer and sound engineer extraordinaire Matt Pence has toured with Jason Isbell while multi-instrumentalist Scott Danbom has played with Slobberbone and Sarah Jaffe. See? In-demand!

Their new album, Candidate Waltz, has reawakened many to the greatness of this band and has already began earning more than its fair share of rave reviews and predictions of the album finding its way onto a solid amount of year-end-best-of lists (Hint: There’s no way it’ll avoid landing on this blog’s list of 2011′s Best Texas Albums. Not a chance).

Enough of me blabbing. Since it’s always nice to see fellow Lone Star dwellers win praise from outside of our own borders, I’ll just let you see for yourself, OK?





So, there. Centro-matic might be a band from our state, but it’s clear that their appeal lies beyond the Red River. Still not sure? Check out the tour schedule for the guys. There aren’t many corners of the great 48 they wont be hitting soon, if not later…

Last week, we detailed the difference between hype and buzz. Another band from the North Texas region that has received a considerable amount of both is Seryn, out of Denton. Quickly after forming in 2009, it seemed as though the folksy chamber pop group signed with area-music power, Spune Productions. Sure, that helped in the hype department, but the bands dramatic, sweeping and even emotional live performances are responsible for creating the buzz that, just like The O’s from Dallas, is well-deserved, as the buzz is the sound that emanates from the folks enjoying themselves as they take it all in.

Thankfully, an album wasnt rushed into the marketplace, and as of last week, This Is Where We Are (Spune/Velvet Blue), the five-pieces debut LP now stands as the opening statement from a band that clearly set out to provide a forceful, soaring opening statement and not just something that would merely grace the merch table for the future gigs that the band will soon play as they tour various parts of the country over the spring. From serene to anthemic while flowing sonorously from one extreme to the other, this record has certainly been worth the wait.

Ukulele, added percussion and multi-layered harmonies give each song beauty and distinction over the course of the album’s ten songs. Don’t only take my word for it. Andy Odom from the Dallas Observer wrote an excellent piece last week about the group and Paste Magazine clearly loves the group as well.

As I said, the band will be out and about for a while. Please make a point to check them out. For a few excellent shows over the next week or so, they’ll be paired with Monahans, the band I wrote about a few weeks ago that was giving away their music to any who cared to have it. Again, go and just try to keep yourself from buzzing.

Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob