Just a baby label

Audio Eagle Record's Ohio Rock
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 3, 2007
Gil Mantera's Party Dream
A week ago Thursday, Great Scott got a thick slab of prime Ohio grass-fed rock in the form of Gil Mantera’s Party Dream. So I thought it might be nice to take a closer look at the musical rumblings in the state that decided the 2004 presidential elections — specifically Akron’s Audio Eagle Records, the just-a-baby label that’s home to Mantera and is owned and operated by Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney.

Gil Mantera’s Party Dream, “Alligator Missions”
On a previous visit to Boston from Youngstown, Gil Mantera and his Party Dream turned out a pretty major throng of beat-hungry youngsters with a dance itch it seemed only he could scratch. “Alligator Missions” is one reason why. It veers from tight-bolted electro-pop to Rapturous guitar thralls in just three minutes. Unfiltered party juice.

The Strange Division, “New Way of Thinking”
Exuberantly snarly guitar pop for anyone with a soft spot for the chuggier output of fellow Ohioans and spiritual forebears Pere Ubu — oh, and maybe some XTC. This track comes off a newly released Audio Eagle compilation of Ohio bands, but the tunes on their own plot of MySpace are just as good, if not better.

Houseguest, “Heir of the Dog”
Remember when Guided by Voices were really good? Well, forget that for a sec because Houseguest are really good right now. Like GbV, they’re chronically catchy, and they have a similarly frayed set of production values, but they don’t leave you with that lingering sense that you’re a sucker and will listen to anything.

Beaten Awake, “Ghost Bought a Bicycle”
Let’s Get Simplified is chock full of gruff, lolling county-tinged rock. Sometimes, as on this track, Beaten Awake come off like a slightly sassier Silver Jews — which, yes, sounds just terrible on paper, but the undulating bass synth, twangy guitars, and tremulous vocals make for a hearty treat.

  Topics: Download , Pere Ubu, Silver Jews
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