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If there’s such a thing as an “Austin sound,” Bob Schneider would exemplify it.
Schneider’s latest solo outing, Lonelyland, sports a dirty, bluesy brand of rock that’s not twang or wail enough for Americana music and not post-grunge or post-Lilith Fair enough for mainstream “modern” rock.
It’s a similar kind of sound listeners can find on Ian Moore’s … and all the colors. Traces of it appear on Seela’s Something Happened, and of course, Austin rockers such as Fastball and Vallejo owe more to, say, Joe Ely than the Clash.
Schneider’s singer-songwriter blues rock won him an award at the Austin Music Awards this year and for good reason.
Schneider knows the power of a simple, catchy chorus, and after packing a whole lotta words in his verses — and there isn’t a track on this album that doesn’t have a lot lyrics — the immediacy of his choruses positively shine through.
Lonelyland also sports some pretty smart arrangements. From the Beck effects on “Jingy” and “Big Blue Sea” to the African chanting and operatic accompaniment on “Round and Round,” Schneider’s music takes many clever turns without coming off as precious.
Schneider’s parent band, the Scabs, packs the house at Antone’s every Tuesday night, and his solo work has gotten similar attention. Deservedly so, quite frankly.