Once upon a time there was a great mythology to the world of music. Bowie and Black Sabbath, Styx and Queen, each held in their songwriting quivers arrows of myth and wonder. Today the tradition continues on here and there, though largely in comical form (Tenacious D). It is a joy then to find a new band out there, in their infancy, creating their own mythos and forming a new universe for themselves. Austin's The Frontier Brothers are doing just that.
Comprised of two brothers, Marshall Galactic (guitars, vocals) and Travis Newman (drums) and a NYU student with a penchant for awesome hats (Brett Moses - keys, vocals), the astronomical trio sound like the bastard offspring of Ziggy Stardust and Iggy Pop, if they listened to nothing but Weezer and Billy Joel growing up.
Recorded on their own, Solar Power Struggle! takes you on a ride through the cosmos in a Griswoldesque station wagon blasting pop music. It starts off with "Jump Blues," a track that is in contention for one of the catchiest tunes I've heard this summer, complete with a chorus of 'hey hey's that haven't been used as effectively since Outkast went a little overboard with them. "The Future Is" sounds like Dylan and Elton John getting together over coffee and cigarettes, and "Dream Collector" is that Weezer-pop done to a perfect T. The ballad "How Do You Know That It's Real?" gives you a break from the power pop for a couple minutes, which is just enough time to catch your breath and get ready for the closer, "TechnicalElectronicSuperSonicRobot (T.E.S.S.)," in which The Frontier Brothers take a chapter from The Killers' glam rock book and give them a hearty one-up while singing about falling in love with T.E.S.S. the robot.
It's all good fun and a promising start for these youngsters, who, with a little more time and further exploration of the cosmos, are sure to bring more big bangs and intergalactic nonsense.