Great rock is elemental. A pair of chords, something resembling a rhythm, a handful of words about girls/women/my baby and lots of energy are all you really need to get a crowd moving and forget about life for a while. The Nouns know this but never over-think it, forming songs with an almost primal pop sensibility and a desire to keep things as raw and simple as possible.
That basic idea is obvious when the Austin three piece takes the stage and lead singer/guitarist Travis Beall lets loose with his stream of consciousness lyrics, yelled at top volume in a manner that suggests they need to escape his brain as soon as artfully possible. “I like screaming a lot. I like singing but I'm a way better yeller, and I like garage rock because it's rock and roll and everyone likes that sound, but you can still be angry and write pop
songs,” Beall said. “I don’t really write lyrics--three songs on our E.P. (“Party With The Nouns”) are about girls walking, because with this music it’s all about energy and the overall sound that
Featuring Beall, drummer Nick Stout and bassist Chris Rodriguez, the band’s beginnings trace back to Beall’s and Stout’s early teen years at the Austin School of Music, where they
started as a folk-inspired duo. Their musical leanings gradually evolved into a basic blues-based sound that really took shape after the two friends attended a 2009 show at Austin’s 21st St.
Co-op. Showcasing Austin punk faves A Giant Dog and The Daze, the performances had a profound influence on the pair.
“The culture there was amazing and and that's when I knew I had to do rock and blues songs. The thing I liked was that everyone was happy and it seemed like it was the music that
was making everyone happy. Ten years from now college kids at UT are still going to be talking about A Giant Dog and the OBN III's and all the great bands that were around Austin at the time.”
Since adding Rodriguez on bass in 2010 The Nouns have joined the ranks of Austin’s fertile and rich garage- and punk-inspired scene, playing prominent clubs like Beerland, Emo’s, Mohawk and Red 7 with local heavies such as A Giant Dog, John Wesley Coleman III, Curtis James and Grape St., Best Fwends, Rayon Beach, Planets and more.
The Nouns’ appeal was obvious early, as evidenced by the rabid reception for 2010’s “Warehouse Sessions,” a three-song offering recorded with one microphone in a local coffee shop that earned the band unexpected attention almost as soon as it was posted on the Bandcamp website. Like the band’s live show, where Beall often winds up half swallowing his microphone as he wrestles his guitar around the stage, the raw energy of the recordings struck
a chord with listeners.
“It was really surprising how people responded to it because we recorded that with one mic, but people in bars would tell us they'd heard it and were downloading it,” Stout said. “I think
they liked how powerful it is and the distorted loudness, and the disregard for taking out the aspects that might in any way be irritating.”
That reception helped the band land a track (“What Did You Do With My Girl?”) on the second compilation from Austin’s Rubberneck photo zine. Building on the buzz, a recent
session filmed by the Austin Music Weekly blog captures the loose, Black Lips- and Kinksinspired energy that’ll never be fine tuned--even if the new “Party With The Nouns” (recorded atAustin’s Sweatbox Studio) ups the fidelity tenfold.
Plans are already in place for a full length set to be recorded in early 2012 at an under renovation house/recording studio/compound in east Austin, but fans can be sure not a lot
is going to change about what The Nouns do best. No layers of overdubs. No multi-tracked guitars. And, if it can be helped, no real idea among the other band members as to what exactly
Beall is projecting into his microphone.
“Travis has this incredible pop sensibility even though most of what we write are just scratch lyrics about girls, self esteem, things like that,” Rodriguez said. “I don't know the lyrics to half of our songs, of course sometimes that's because the microphone is halfway down his throat when he's singing them.”
Contact: Ryan Newsum
Levitate Me Productions and Artist Management