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New tunes: I Am Austin

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Adam Walton Adam Walton | 14:40 UK time, Friday, 2 October 2009

Connah's Quay in Flintshire has always had musical connotations in my mind-hole.

World-renowned classical guitarist, Graham Devine comes from the town and was in my year at the Alun School, Mold. He was, er, instrumental in my ensuing fascination with music. You can blame him, then.
Connah's Quay also had a music shop along its high street (the longest in the world), the legendary Hammersound. If you were in a band in North East Wales in the 80s and 90s, Hammersound was the only place you could hire yourself a PA without asking your mum and dad to remortgage the house. (Heck! It's still there. Is a 100W Carlsboro head and speakers still £15 with a £10 deposit?)

Also, if you come from some poncey metropolis of Welsh culture and achievement like, I don't know, Newport or Cardiff, you cannot imagine - CANNOT IMAGINE - the effect that hearing Connah's Quay's Dr Phibes and the House of Wax Equations on John Peel had on we wet-nosed, dole-y scumbag local musicians back in 1991. They showed it was possible to come from North East Wales and get your music heard by people that mattered.

So, for an otherwise unremarkable town, Connah's Quay loomed disproportionately large in my musical development.

I had a near Phibes-ean rush a couple of years back listening to Bethan Elfyn's Radio 1 show and hearing her play some pretty stunning noise that, she said, was the responsibility of a two-piece called I Am Austin from Connah's Quay.

I promptly jumped aboard the I Am Austin bandwagon and played them myself a few times.

They gigged here and there. Picked up more smart airplay from tastemakers nationwide. Then, well, not much.

Sometimes those of us who don't make music forget that it's a costly and time-consuming business recording your tracks properly. Especially if you don't have access to snazzy computers, or monied up parents/patrons.

So, it's taken far too long for I Am Austin to get into the studio to record successors to those outstanding demos of a couple of years ago.

They're done it now, though. A whole EP's worth. I was that excited listening to them that I breathlessly scrawled this on Twitter a couple of days ago: "The new I Am Austin recordings are skyscraping filth: Add 'N' to X, DFA, Kills... a pummeling, monstrous future blues. Ace, in other words."

And I stand by that.

It's pretty concise and accurate, for me.

Their own stated reference points are different. I think these new recordings are well worth checking out. They have new management now and will soon be seen supporting the Noisettes in Manchester.

Tunes and gig info are free to one and all at myspace.com/iamaustinmusic



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