All Hail
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All Hail

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All Hail, from Austin, is a sextet, together since 2004, that plays a brand of alternative rock that appeals to college-age fans as well to more grizzled rock-scene veterans. All Hail is working with a six-track CD, "Every Wealth."

The group's words, penned by Garrett Loontjer (winner of the "hardest last name to spell" award of the week) are smart and sharp. Its music is part pop, part rock, cleverly arranged and well suited for those who like their rock with brains. -Jim Beal, San Antonio Express-News

http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainment/columnists/jim_beal/MYSA022307_WK_beal_5d006c_html.html - San Antonio Express-News


I first saw Austin's All Hail play a show last March at an XL (Austin American-Statesman) showcase. They struck me as a very different band. This six-song EP kind of proved the point. Different. They've got a sound I can't easily place. It's like Morrissey-meets-Duran Duran-meets-Panic! At The Disco.

Garrett Loontjer's vocals are a commanding whisper as he navigates his way through the tracks. It seems the music has been melded around his unique voice, which has a totally unassuming quality to it. Just when you expect a scream, you get a softer turn.

A standout track on Every Wealth is "James." It's got a slow building groove that creeps throughout the track. "You arm yourself for war, with a cross that is not yours."

JP Bartonico's keyboards play a prominent role throughout the EP, but are showcased well in "Triumphant." I get a Breakfast Club musical moment with "Notice" and "Yours To Lose" sounds like a stadium rock song.

I recommend you look All Hail up (allhail.net) and catch a show. Perhaps pick Every Wealth up. -Sean Claes, INsite Magazine (March 2007) - INsite Magazine


http://www.austindaze.com/2009/10/28/mcriprocks-lonestar-sixpack-project-31/ - Austin Daze


The six-track CD carries a bit of a dark impression, kind of similar to The Smiths but it works for them, largely in part because of the singer's great voice. The track "James" really highlights this 1980s cultish sound, pairing a wicked electric guitar riff with a solid, clean drum-beat. "Triumphant" picks up the pace and sounds similar to The Bravery. "Notice" goes back to their somber mood and exposes their honest, smart songwriting. Again The Smiths come to mind but their howling, soft rock voices leave a unique imprint on what would have been an otherwise familiar sounding record. The viola in the background adds a nice Celtic touch as well.

The final track "Every Wealth" is perhaps their best song. I can already hear it on some pretentious teenage TV show soundtrack or some episode of Grey's Anatomy. It has a soothing viola solo playing in the beginning, joined by an assertive drum beat and succinct piano keys that seem to get the sound just right. All Hail's Every Wealth isn't exactly something I'd bow down to right away but it does have the potential to get them in the door and acquire a bit more indie affluence. -Antoinette Mercurio, Spill Magazine

- Spill Magazine


As its title suggests, All Hail’s new record, Truth, Love, War, deals in broad topics; luckily for the local pop-rockers, they have a sound expansive enough to support such weighty subject matter. Recalling the post-millennial grandiosity of Coldplay and Arcade Fire and the nocturnal longing of The National, All Hail sets its songs skyward on the back of Kenneth Dait’s viola and Clay Youngkin’s guitar. This kind of hearts-on-sleeves rock is given to bouts of lyrical earnestness and oversharing (judging by “Ex-Lover” and “Say Love,” someone did keyboardist-vocalist JP Bartonico all kinds of wrong), but that ought to be easy to ignore as Truth, Love, War’s songs swirl around you at this CD-release party. Obsolete Machines set the brood with their electronically enhanced prog, and resident party-starter Prince Klassen would do well to find room in his set for “Idioteque.”

http://www.avclub.com/austin/events/all-hail-obsolete-machines-and-prince-klassen,146072/ - The Onion


All Hail’s first full-length album “Truth, Love, War” was over a year in the making. Following the previous EP, “Every Wealth” (2007), the band decided to take their time to record, rather than rush out a follow up album. The final result is evident, all they really wanted to do was make a great indie-rock album, and they succeeded.

“Truth, Love, War” contains nine tracks with a diverse collection of music, from simple indie-pop to whimsical theatrical rock. With six members in the band, it is apparent that the assortment of musical taste has influenced the album. The addition of Kenneth Dait’s viola as the prominent instrument offers a unique listening experience.

Vocalists JP Bartonico and Garrett Loontjer work well as a team. Their voices compliment each other to fit the mood of the song. The duo finds the perfect balance where one does not outshine the other. With each having their own distinctive ranges and expression, they each play to their strengths to deliver the messages they are trying to convey. Bartonico plays up the bitter broken hearted in the more aggressive rock laments such as “Ex-Lover” and “Say Love.” His vocals are delivered in short, thorny spite to release his raw emotions. Loontjer sings more flowing melodic lines. This is predominately featured in the more theatrical songs such as “The Sermon” and “Carry Me Carol.” But, if the vocalists were to switch lead duties these songs would not have worked.

As cliché as it sounds, “Truth, Love, War” will make All Hail a familiar name if “Every Wealth” did not already introduce them to the Austin music scene. They have written enjoyable indie-songs that are accessible for even the snobbiest of music fans, but without ever crossing into over produced territory.

http://www.theaccent.org/all-hail-s-second-effort-a-success-1.952733 - ACC


All Hail celebrates the release of Truth, Love, War this Friday at Beauty Bar. Obsolete Machines’ lush electro-scapes kick things off, All Hail steps in next with beautiful textures and irresistible melodies galore, and the club’s resident Friday night DJ Prince Klassen takes over after.

http://austinist.com/2009/12/04/weekend_music_preview_jon_pettis_be.php - austinist.com


Music credentials in Austin are like ambulance sirens: they precede the band by miles, and generally ring hollow in one's ears long after the original noise source has vanished into obscurity. With this in mind, one couldn't help but be suspicious when news arrived that Erik Wofford (Explosions in the Sky/ Voxtrot) and Jim Eno (Spoon) agreed to produce Austin group All Hail's new EP. Both of these men hold a special place in Austin's collective indie mythology, but one wonders if their names overshadow the band's own talent as a selling device. Luckily for the band, a single listen-through of the latest EP, Every Wealth, assuages these fears - those portentous sirens are nowhere to be found.

Granted, the indie rock sextet's first release isn't blessed with levity, but at least any death knells to be heard are those intentionally created by the band. As the first warm, sustained guitar chord resounds from the speakers, All Hail clearly proclaims its mission - to make dramatic, emotional music for people who like dramatic, emotional music.

Vocalist/guitarist Garrett Loontjer's whispered sentiments on opener "Yours to Lose" set the pace of the album as we are left "to think of the cost/ that your balance could be lost/ with a kiss of such luck…you get carried along." Silence is impossible to find on Every Wealth, as Terry Youngkin 's gently driving drum rhythms and Loontjer's sustained vocal notes catches the listener in a slipstream that doesn't let go until the album's finale. "Yours to Lose" also offers a first exposure to the narcotically addictive lead guitar lines that litter the album. Not pretentious, not too sparse, and almost dripping with melody and style, the lead guitar work on this album is, in all honesty, without flaw. As promised, the album's production shines here, as perfectly set instrument tones accent all the band's fortes, at least for a time.

"James" features an excellent effect-heavy guitar breakdown with Daniel Huff's overdriven bass providing extra force as Loontjer commands him, "you/arm yourself for war"; the chanting choruses shine as the most cohesive moments of the EP, and seem to have the strength of a somber and war-weary army. While not the most upbeat song, "James," definitely commands the most attention. The band switches into a much more jerky and discordant sound on "Triumphant," breaking the at-times homogeneous feel of the album. Unfortunately, this is also the weakest song on the album. The chorus, "you're triumphant now/ but not for long" seems awkward and lacks the flow and creativity of some of the other tracks. The abhorrently beautiful lead guitar lines found elsewhere fall to the side as a dark-but-forgettable keyboard steps up to take its place. Here too, as in slower numbers like "Notice," Youngkin's voice seems rooted too high in his throat, taking on a shallow, flattened tone - especially during the quieter moments of the song. During choruses, when he opens up a bit more, he regains some fullness and a bit more genuine tone that helps redeem the disjointed song.

The album recovers in its final moments, as title track "Every Wealth" incorporates some brooding violin and piano work that imbue the song with a dramatic and classic flair. Ultra-delayed guitar, though simple, accents these parts perfectly, and the collective effect illustrates the amazing arrangement this band is capable of. While the group's true charm doesn't reveal itself fully until the last song, it is worth the wait. Even when one particular song comes up short, All Hail's ability to work the dynamics of a song - building up climactically before cutting back - makes each song seem particularly cinematic.

Sure, production has a lot to do with it. The mixing and production are spot on - the guitars are a summer-campfire of warmth against the icy emotion of Loontjer's lyrics - but the band carries itself quite proudly even without Wofford and Eno's sharp musical sensibilities. Accessible and angst-ridden, All Hail's first release, Every Wealth, is surprisingly smart, with each modest part coalescing to a rather extravagant whole that may just be worthy of its credentials. -Evan St. John, AustinSound.net

http://www.austinsound.net/2008/03/04/all-hail-every-wealth-sr/ - Austin Sound


Considering that the band is coming off an Austin Sound-approved EP in Every Wealth you would think that they would take a moment to leisurely stroll around feeling somewhat moderately good about themselves. But, instead they've decided to keep the momentum going with another EP titled The Caldwell Sessions, and then a full length later in the fall. Nothing wrong with being both talented and ambitious, I guess.

The new EP isn't set to be released until sometime in the summer, so use the wonderfully lush track below to help pass the days. Or, if that's just not enough, you could attempt to figure out the riddle of why these guys have yet to be scooped up by a label. -John Laird, AustinSound.net/SideOneTrackOne.com

http://www.austinsound.net/2008/04/02/local-quips-all-hail/ - Austin Sound


For no reason whatsoever except that I am enjoying this song, here is a nice little track from Austin’s All Hail called Truth Be Told. The pretty and minor noodlings are a great bed for the reverb heavy lyrics. Their debut EP Every Wealth is available online HERE.

It has the fingerprints of both Austin studio wizards Erik Wofford (Voxtrot, Explosions in the Sky) Jim Eno (Spoon), and yes, it’s been out for over a year, but better late than never. Their first full-length album is set to come out soon… in the meantime:

MP3: All Hail- Truth Be Told

http://partyends.com/blog/?p=2522 - partyends.com


Discography

Truth, Love, War - 2009
Every Wealth (EP) - 2007

Truth, Love, War:

"Recalling the post-millennial grandiosity of Coldplay and Arcade Fire and the nocturnal longing of The National, All Hail sets its songs skyward on the back of Dait’s viola and Youngkin’s guitar." -A.V. Club/The Onion

"The final result is evident, all they really wanted to do was make a great indie-rock album, and they succeeded... As cliché as it sounds, 'Truth, Love, War' will make All Hail a familiar name." -The Accent

“Beautiful textures and irresistible melodies galore.” -Austinist.com

"Equipped with the swirling viola, synth, and piano majesty along with guitars that provoke melody and style." -Austin Daze

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Every Wealth:

"Sharp and smart... part pop, part rock, cleverly arranged and well suited for those who like their rock with brains" -San Antonio Express-News

"Dripping with melody and style, the lead guitar work on this album is, in all honesty, without flaw" -Austin Sound

"Loontjer's vocals are a commanding whisper as he navigates his way through the tracks" -INsite Magazine

"Carries a bit of a dark impression, similar to The Smiths... and exposes their honest, smart songwriting" -Spill Magazine (Toronto)

Photos

Bio

All Hail's debut EP Every Wealth sought to bring the band's poetic lyrics and unique musical interplay to the forefront of the burgeoning Austin scene.

It certainly opened doors.

Now the band is poised to walk through these doors with the magnificent Truth, Love, War. The album represents a giant leap forward for a band that displayed such promise with their debut. Equipped with swirling viola, synth, and piano majesty, along with guitars AustinSound.net has described as "dripping with melody and style," All Hail's highly anticipated full length album is sure to please those seeking a dramatic soundtrack to life.