Every Tuesday, You Need To Know spotlights a rising artist that we know will blow up big. Listen now. Thank us later. This week: Austin indie rock quartet Hundred Visions.
Last week I caught an excellent show from the recently-reunited cult favorites Archers of Loaf who were touring with Pipe, another band of 1990s indie vets from Chapel Hill, NC. The Archers were in fine form and the charmingly loose set from Pipe absolutely slayed, but I left New York’s Bowery Ballroom nearly just as impressed by Hundred Visions, the first band to play that night.
Considering Hundred Visions was the first of two openers (and the newcomer band), I wasn’t expecting them to hit the stage with such an immediately arresting sound. While crowds usually mill about aimlessly during the opener-opener, Hundred Visions drew the audience in pretty quickly. Yeah, they rocked and had stage presence, but the Austin, TX, band's secret weapon that night was actually the oldest trick in the book: Well-crafted songs.
The centerpiece of their set, “Last Cab From Tunis,” is exactly the kind of song an up-and-coming band needs. It's idiosyncratic yet familiar. It's immediately catchy, but durable enough to reward repeated listens. While the drums clip along at an inviting, brisk pace, a mischievously funky bass line drops in and transforms “Last Cab From Tunis” into an awesome, LCD Soundsystem-style rocker.
Not to say the band is even close to dance music—the loping guitar keeps things grounded in rock—but Hundred Visions are a band you can happily move your feet to even if you don't know the songs ahead of time. Not bad at all for a group that has yet to release their first full length.
After the set I learned the band was at the end of an extensive tour opening for fellow Austin wildmen White Denim (before their two dates with Archers of Loaf). But they certainly don't seem road worn, considering their energetic set. I’d recommend checking them out next time they hit the road. In the meantime, you can hear “Last Cab From Tunis” plus two more frisky rock songs over here.
Bonus Listen: After some additional Google searching, I stumbled upon a cover they did of one of my favorite John Cale songs, “Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend.” It’s a pretty faithful cover and lead singer Ben Maddox does an admirable job selling the unhinged vibe of the original.
Do you like Hundred Visions? Tell us in the comment section below.