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Lone Star Sounds: New LPs from Baptist Generals, Cas Haley and Sealion

Posted 4:50pm on Wednesday, May. 22, 2013

New music from area bands continues to flow unabated into stores, both physical and digital. Here are three new records with local roots worth a spin.

The Baptist Generals, ‘Jackleg Devotional to the Heart’

A full decade has elapsed since we last heard from this Denton collective, anchored by singer-songwriter and founding member Chris Flemmons. The Baptist Generals, despite the hiatus between 2003’s No Silver/No Gold and its eagerly anticipated follow-up (an album was begun, then scrapped, in 2005), has remained a sonic touchstone for the local scene, thanks in no small part to Flemmons’ role in helping mount the annual 35 Denton festival. Merely calling Jackleg’s songs “fractured folk” sells short the ambition on display. From first track to last, Jackleg is a stunning accomplishment, rich with feeling and a dynamic showcase for one of the state’s most essential bands. The Baptist Generals will perform a hometown show June 1 at Dan’s Silverleaf, before heading out on a monthlong tour with the Mountain Goats. Online: www.baptistgenerals.com.

Sealion, ‘Kenneth’

Dallas foursome Sealion — guitarist Cole Denton, guitarist/vocalist Hunter Moehring, drummer Alex Poulos and bassist Paul Hernandez — bills its sloppy, melodic sound as “art punk,” which is as fitting a descriptor as any for this kinetic debut. Don’t let the offhand sonic splatter of tracks like Finks or Get Drained deceive you: Kenneth, which is being released by Fort Worth DIY label Lo-Life Recordings, is full of irresistible melodies, and the catharsis of the quiet-loud-quiet dynamic familiar to anyone who has spent time with the Pixies’ catalog. It’s a very promising first effort, marking Sealion as an act to keep a close eye on. The band, along with Datahowler and War Party, will celebrate the release of Kenneth at 9 p.m. Friday at Deep Ellum’s Three Links. Online: sealionsounds.bandcamp.com.

Cas Haley, ‘La Si Dah’

If you have the urge for an island getaway but don’t have the cash handy, a perfectly acceptable substitute might be picking up former Arlington resident Cas Haley’s breezy new LP, finding the nearest pool and taking a swig of your preferred tropical libation. (The 13-track La Si Dah, produced by Haley, was recorded at Dallas’ January Sound Studio.) The America’s Got Talent runner-up specializes in a brand of reggae-spiced rock not often associated with Texas, but Haley’s airy tenor, facility with both acoustic guitar and ukulele, and willingness to throw the occasional curveball ( Wait for Me is a tender pop ballad amid beachier fare) are nevertheless endearing. Along with Larry g(EE) and the Effinays, Haley will fete his new LP on Saturday at the Live Oak Music Hall & Lounge. Haley also has a Dallas CD-release show set for May 31 at the Cambridge Room at the House of Blues. Online: www.cashaley.com.

Preston Jones, 817-390-7713 Twitter: @prestonjones

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