Why Not Satellite
Listing all the local legacies represented in Why Not Satellite’s lineup would flesh out a musical chronology stretching from Austin’s late Seventies to the present day. Fronted by Standing Waves principals Larry Seaman and Randy Franklin, the foursome focuses on the mid-Eighties nexus of power-pop and collegiate rock. Their debut doesn’t upturn anything new, but if a hamburger hits the spot, why ruin it with superfluous garnishment? Opener “Fire at the Circus” fits the pure pop rubric of the New Pornographers with its souped-up harmonies and veiled imagery. “Annabella,” the album’s hardest hitter, encapsulates the unhinged heart warp of not-quite-requited love. Vestigial New Wave-isms abound on a reboot of F-Systems’ 1980 single, “People.” A few over-elongated songs become anemic, but “Strange” closes with perplexed allure. Devotees of unrepentant jangle, take heart. Your city isn’t gone just yet.