Austin Collins & The Rainbirds

Artist / Band / Musician
Rock / Alternative / Country
Fat Caddy Records
The songs he sings are earnest and heartfelt, hauntingly beautiful in melody and superbly sharp in observance. They are sweetly serious, and they are delicately crafted.
Austin Collins is a bit of a juxtaposition in personality from the songs he so masterfully writes—he's a witty guy who leans more often than not on his keen sense of humor to soak up the few down moments during his shows. He'll make you cry with a song, he'll make you laugh with a joke, and then he'll make you cry again if he feels like it. Jokes are one thing—we all have a friend we can count on for a good laugh. These songs of his, though…
Not many people have a friend who can do what Austin does so impeccably well.
The Houston born, Austin, TX based Collins, whose stellar recording resume includes two critically acclaimed releases (2005's Something Better and 2008's Roses Are Black) has again returned with heart in hand and music in groove. His latest offering, Wrong Control, is by name mysterious and unique, but that's par for Austin's course. He's a writer, after all, and as any good writer will tell you, one mustn't tip ones hand right off the bat. And so, you can't help but wonder exactly what it is that went wrong and exactly what it is that he's trying to control.
First, what went Wrong:
Relationships. Attempts to break out. Chances to learn things that are as yet unknown. The drive to find out what else there is in life.
That's not to say these failed launches don't eventually lift off for the cast of characters that wander in and out of Austin's songs. He leaves them (and us) with just enough glimmers of hope, with just the right amount of possibilities, to believe that they might someday break out of the gracefully sketched situations they find themselves in.
Second, the Control:
His trademark lonesome, free-ranging vocals. The sparse instrumental arrangements. The ability to get a little heavier, a little grittier when it's called for.
With Centro-Matic's Will Johnson at the production helm, Collins' Rainbirds, consisting of Craig Bagby on drums and Dylan McDougall on guitars, both of whom garner writing credits on the album, manage to match their leading mans' lyrical brushstrokes with musical accompaniment that stays out of its own way—the co-star beside the people living within this collection of songs. They pick and choose their moments with expertise, creating a vast and colorful landscape upon which the drama can unfold.
And as that drama unfolds, you begin to get this feeling:
There's just so much Austin Collins and the Rainbirds got right with Wrong Control.
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