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Houston, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Alternative Rock


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SinceAlways @ Rudyard's British Pub

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

SinceAlways @ Mangos

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA

SinceAlways @ Fitzgeralds

Houston, Texas, USA

Houston, Texas, USA


The best kept secret in music


I get the luxury of listening to and hearing hordes of bands, in fact possibly quadruple as many as most people do. Sometimes I come across a band that’s doing something that reminds me of something different on every song they play. A good example of that is Houston three piece, Since Always. Originally called Midnight Norma Lane, the power trio drops varying forms of indie rock, shoegaze, emocore, and even post rock sounds in their songs. Their debut album, the recently released “Consequences” showcases the band’s ability to criss cross genres. This is filtered through the hauntingly beautiful voice of singer and guitarist Laila Mendoza. Mendoza easily reminds me of a cross between Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donelly, but with just a hint of more emotion in her pipes.

I can’t lie when I say the the second guitar on the opening track, “The Underground” eerily reminded me of a Mineral song, mixed with a hint of Christie Front Drive. This is immediately taken away when Mendoza begins to sing, where she brings in a new element when the song reaches its’ chorus. The beauty of the track is that is has a very unconventional hook from that second guitar, like the beginning of a solo that never becomes one. The execution and craft of the track is pretty beautiful in its’ simple construction. The end of the song adds that second guitar with Mendoza’s vocals to create this pretty and hooky sound that makes you repeat the song once it’s over. This gets followed by a softer and slower song, “Metronome” that clocks in at a hair over five minutes. The song has a pretty thunderous drum from drummer, David Michalak that never gets crazy, but easily sets the pace for the swooned guitar sound of the chorus. The band takes a different direction on the third track, “Under The Gun” that takes on a shoegaze feel, while utilizing a layered guitar that sways in and out while Mendoza’s vocals sit atop the song as the lead instrument. The song has an almost “Pictures of You” lacquer that sits on the outside of the track with all of these interior elements that take the song further than the initial shoegaze feel. By the time that “Reunite” kicks in, and guitarist/keyboardist Jose Jonah Perez gets the song going with a heavy key sound; you should’ve realized that this band is doing things no one else around is really doing. The song takes you to a real heavy growl of guitars that still manages to keep Mendoza’s voice and a slight key sound in the distance…just enough to keep your interest while the song fades without ever breaking the build that lead up to it all.

The album picks up the pace with the upbeat and almost pop rock tempo of the fifth track, “Dark Of The Room.” There’s the feel of bands like That Dog, Guided By Voices, and Magnapop all over the song while a thick riff is melded with a squealing guitar that never seems to get capped off. The melody of the song alone made it feel like one of the standout songs on the release. About three songs later, the band delivers a song, “Nothing Stays” that feels kind of like their strong point of building a song up, before changing its’ direction. It’s definitely a slow boil, but when the change happens, it creates one of those moments that makes the guitarist in me wonder how it’s achieved live. The rhythm goes so against the grain of the build up, while drums are smattering loudly in the background on the change over that you’re just a little mind blown when they bring the song back with these sweet vocalised notes that wrap it all up nicely. Then, the song slowly dances into the darkness with an almost mysterious ending that doesn’t pair with most of the rest of the song; but not in a bad way. The tenth song, an instrumental called “Choices” opens like it’s being performed by Sunny Day Real Estate, where there’s a grand feeling to it all. And then the song dissipates into itself, before being followed by another standout track, “Consequences.” The opening guitar feel like it’s building for almost too long, when it closes off and gets a thick floor tom sound alongside a murky bassline with a very thickly reverbed guitar. The song has that slow build that almost feels like it won’t have a release to the slow paced tension the band builds. The hooks, of which there are several build when the song slows to almost a stop before the roof blows off the track into an almost orgy of emotion from the dual guitars and the crashing of the drums and cymbals. And then, before it takes a third swing at changing itself, it ends. The final tune on the album, “White Noise” has the kind of feeling of finality, almost like it’s at the end credits of a film or at least in some tender love scene montage. And then, when the song reaches the point where it feels like the two lovers will kiss, Mendoza brings in those hauntingly emotional vocals while cymbals crash arop of thick bass and two varying guitar tracks. It’s one of the few times on the entire album, where the vocals break from perfection with little hints of creak and crack that bring forth such heartache and pain, that you can’t help but listen intently. This only gets heavier, when a soft piano helps close the song, tying together more emotion on one song than you’ve possibly heard in a long time.

There’s a an unembellished beauty to this band that is only exemplified by the unadorned nature of the songs they perform. The fact that this is a three piece with varying moving parts per song, makes one wonder how these songs translate in a live setting. Aside from that, “Consequences” is easily one of the most original and different sounding album I’ve heard out of Houston in a long time. You can see the band for yourself, when they play Notsuoh on Tuesday March 17th. - David Garrick: FREE PRESS HOUSTON

Introducing Since Always
March 5, 2015
The shoegaze descriptor and sound never fails to capture my attention. It's the skeleton key, or the secret handshake into my heart and mind, and has been for a good many years. Toss in some dreamy vocals and you can count me pushed over. And that's exactly how Houston, Texas shoegazers Since Always introduced themselves to me. It wasn't exactly quite like that, it was through an email submission from lead vocalist and guitarist Laila Mendoza. She was emailing to announce the band's latest effort, a full length titled Consequences. After a few times through the album, I've become particularly enamored with their track 'Dark of the Room', and I want to share it with you. Join me for a listen, stream it below. - Aimless Skylarking

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Nothing Stays” by Since Always (2015, from the album Consequences).
Since Always is an indie rock/shoegaze-ish trio from Houston. They released an EP called Moxie Kid in the spring of 2012, and they released their full-length debut album Consequences this February. I don’t know anything about them, and there isn’t much to be found out about them. I got an email about the new album a couple of weeks after it came out, and I set it off to the side for later. I was reminded about them when the band’s twitter account started following my personal twitter account. I thought I had already written about them, but it turns out that I either never got the ball rolling on that or I couldn’t gather enough information about them.

In their description of themselves, they also apply the tag “post-rock”. I wouldn’t say that. I might very loosely apply a descriptor like “post-hardcore” in the same way that I would very lightly apply that term to the Buffalo trio Lemuria. I thought about Lemuria quite a bit while I was listening to the songs on Consequences.

This is one of my favorites from that album: - DLee: THIS IS THAT SONG

What do we have for you this weekend? Where to begin… pre-release music from Smiling Disease, whose cassette compilation Beach Bodies: 2008-2014 (out April 5 on Memorials of Distinction) is a collection of scuzzy but remarkably tuneful lo-fi experiments that will challenge your musical sensibilities. The new album Consequences, from Houston’s Since Always, which firmly straddles post rock, shoegaze and dream pop genres without selling any of them short. New music from Tape Runs Out, with a new single on Ear to Ear Records due March 30. Pre-release sounds from Zeroine, whose Animous LP releases April 21. Not to be outdone: key tracks from a fresh compilation to promote the impressive work of Atrocity Exhibition, a Brooklyn eclectic/dark/live music monthly who have hosted and promoted some of the most impressive acts these genres have to offer. Icing on the cake? New music from Oregon’s Quell that’ll peel your cap back, the latest releases from Angel Falls, Hot Glass, Panophonic, Antethic, Fake Flowers, Eyes Behind the Veil, Debris Slide, megawave, Parrot Dream, Wild Ways, and the impressive new single from Gleam (you’ll be hearing it a lot in the coming weeks).

We’re still pushing the new albums from Winter, Spectres, Native Lights, Light FM, The Union Trade, and Human Colonies. Plus Malka, Monster Treasure, Winnebago, Depth & Current, Venera 4 and loads more. If the sun is shining (and even if it’s not), we’ll pump your radio full of shoegaze and dream pop freshness all weekend long.

Shine so hard. - DKFM

Midnight Norma Lane’s Moxy Kid Drones…
And I’m Starting to Like It

by Samantha Wong, FUHA contributing Writer

Midnight Norma Lane’s Moxy Kid EP

Local indie-rock band, Midnight Norma Lane, impresses on my musically illiterate heart with its debut EP, Moxy Kid. I have to admit, I wasn’t sold at first: The six-track EP seemed plain and didn’t offer anything musically stimulating. But, Moxy Kid is one of those albums you grow to love — and I’m beginning to.

The droning, grunge feel wasn’t appealing at first because every track seemed to drag. But combined with the ambient melodies, the sounds work together to create something worth listening to. Of the six tracks, “Dead Actress,” “Words Like Bones” and “Micro Maps of Happiness” stood out the most.

“Dead Actress” plays with its name lyrically and could act as a monologue to a dead actress who questions her place in a relationship. The intro sets the mood perfectly, while the rift keeps it going by tying the lyrical and musical aspects of the song together. My favorite parts are the catchy hooks and middle eight, the melody toward the end of the song, because they give off this indescribable warmness and familiarity, which complements the song.

“Words Like Bones” has a darker, eerie vibe and is more dramatic than “Dead Actress.” There’s this juxtaposition between the simplicity and cryptic nature of the lyrics that works: The lyrics give off this sense of deep regret and are vague enough with its favorable metaphors to be relatable. Musically, the song has this chill, I’m-lost-somewhere-in-the-dark-woods kind of feel that picks up toward the end and adds to the overall vibe. The seamless transition into an ambient rain track during the last 20 seconds of the song is like the cherry on top because it offers some sort of calmness and doubles as a transition to the next song, “Micro Maps of Happiness.”

“Micro Maps of Happiness” is a very simple song: It only has two verses, and the lyrics speak for itself. This track is my favorite on the EP because the latter half is purely instrumental, giving the song more meaning. Listening to it brings you to this kind of ethereality and draws out these feelings that mimic the song’s overall point. The hypnotic melody woos me as it picks up toward the end and is followed by another ambient rain track with a train whistle added to it.

I give Moxy Kid a 3 out of 5 because even though it’s a decent EP with some enjoyable tracks, I wouldn’t listen to it on a regular basis unless I was in the mood for it. Assuming Moxy Kid is on the album cover, Moxy’s cute just not entirely for me.

Midnight Norma Lane is made up of vocalist and guitarist Laila Mendoza; guitarist, bassist and producer Jonah Perez; bassist Mic Castillo; and drummer Jeph Gomez.

Moxy Kid was recorded and produced in Houston by Perez, lyrics by Mendoza and music written by Mendoza and Perez. Moxy Kid was released March 29.

The EP is available to download for free on Midnight Norma Lane’s Bandcamp page,

To learn more about the band, visit its Facebook page.

**The views expressed by FUHA’s contributors are not representative of FUHA. However, we like these guys and thank them for offering their time. Sound off in the comments to let us know what you think of the band’s music. Agree with Samantha? Don’t? We wanna know. - Samantha Wong FUHA

Caught wind of this band completely by accident a few months back and was utterly enthralled by their debut Moxy Kid EP, to such a degree that I found myself compelled to listen over and over and over again, skipping right back to the beginning of “Junkie” each time “Micro Maps Of Happiness” dissolved into rain noise.
Seriously, this may be Midnight Norma Lane’s first-ever attempt at glory, but their brand of shoegazer-y, heavy-lidded guitar rock hits dead center. There’re plenty of elements of classic ’90s dreampop, but that’s too limited a box for the band; rather, they’ve sucked in the whole range of ’90s rock and transformed it into something that’s both comforting and modern.
Take the drifting, hazy “Junkie,” for example, which starts off head-nodding and sleepy, like a song you just barely remember from late nights spent up watching 120 Minutes, but then sets the guitars on fire and steps back to just watch them burn. Something similar happens on “Dead Actress,” too, with Midnight Norma Lane playing things low-key and dark, coasting along beneath frontwoman Laila Mendoza’s pleasantly-downcast voice until about two-thirds of the way through.
That’s when the guitars explode, and it’s a fucking monumental moment; suddenly there’s this shifting, almost Deftones-like melody lurking beneath the tidal roar, threatening every second to escape from the speakers and trash the room. Jonah Perez’s drums pound and thunder, and the whole thing essentially swallows up Mendoza’s voice, letting it settle to the bottom of the sea like a forgotten, leaky message in a bottle.
“78SixSixSix” is more straightforward, less swooning and more flat-out rawk, but the ’90s touchstones are still there, as they are on “Stage Love,” which makes me think weirdly of The Toadies, for some reason. “Words Like Bones,” on the other hand, steps along more languidly, almost like a Phil Spector girl-group if it got lost down a back alley and ended up hooked on heroin.
Finally, there’s closer “Micro Maps Of Happiness,” which takes the dreampop influence and meshes it with serious, serious echoes of Moon Pix-era Cat Power. Mendoza mutters and croons in an impressively Chan Marshall-esque fashion, low-key at first but then kicking on the distortion to soar skyward once again before crumbling back down.
And then there’s me, sitting here with my head in my hands, ready to listen to it all over again. - Space City Rock

Midnight Norma Lane put an EP on their Bandcamp page called Moxy Kid EP and it’s totally great. The cover is a picture of a little girl holding her fist up wearing some nineties-esque glasses and a backwards visor. This EP is six tracks long, and they’ve tagged it as alternative, post rock, ambient and garage rock, among other things. It’s totally worth listening to!

This band is made up of Molly Em’s vocals and guitar playing, and Jonah Perez’s on vocals, guitar, bass, and and drum skills. Perez also produced and recorded the Moxy Kid EP. It’s sort of droning, but in a totally great 90s-grunge rock kind of way. I think that’s probably what they were going for, judging by their ambient tag. Nailed it, Midnight Norma Lane!

“Junkie” is probably my favorite of the six tracks. It really demonstrates that ambient sort of grunge rock I was talking about. I always liked grunge, and it’s been a while since I’ve found a band in this decade that did it well. I hope these folks like the word grunge. “Junkie” has some really great guitar tones throughout, and Molly Em’s vocals drone along perfectly.

Head over to Midnight Norma Lane’s Bandcamp page to find out more about this garage rock band from Houston! Their home recordings are a really good sign as the first of their recording endeavors. Hopefully there will be much more to come in the future. You can download the Moxy Kid EP for free! -

Recently, I’ve been downloading and listening to music like crazy from Band Camp. This is a review of a group of songs by the same band I got from Band Camp- usually it constitutes an EP. This is a song-by-song review and it is never to exceed six songs. At the end, I will tell you the “Recommended Downloading Level”, which means whether or not I think you should spend your time downloading these songs. It’s on a scale from 1 to 5, 5 meaning that you should stop reading my review and download these songs immediately and 1 meaning that if you even think about downloading these songs your computer will be infected with a horrific bad music virus. Enjoy.

Midnight Norma Lane “Moxy Kid EP”
01: “Junkie” [4:50] -- The lead off track has a lead off guitar track that sounds like that of the Hole song “Doll Parts”. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering that the vocals remind me of Hole as well. We have sludgy, distorted guitar tracks with vocals that get higher in the chorus and kind of drag throughout the verses. Yes, the distortion rains down pretty heavy at times.
02: “Dead Actress” [4:19] -- This song has a different vibe to it, opening with some distorted guitar notes and then going from quieter verses into a much louder chorus. I’ll be honest, though it’s not quite as heavy I do think this song kind of reminds me of Kittie for some reason.
03: “78SixSixSix” [2:20] – With a bit more oomph, not only does this song stand out from the rest as being the shortest, but also for having the “whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh” type chorus that adds almost a hint of pop to these otherwise seemingly dark and dredging songs. Though it does have a powerful breakdown when it reaches the end, this song is a good representation of this band, I would assume, if you wanted people to like them.
04: “Stage Love” [3:07] -- Here we kick off with some start and stop guitar chords and female screaming. When we reach the chorus, this is the one song that sounds the most like the others and is possibly going to be the hardest to distinguish from the pack. However, some most excellent drumming eventually remedies that situation.
05: “Words Like Bones” [4:20] – While slower than most of the other songs, this one kind of drags along with the screaming and guitar riffs. And I don’t mean screaming like a hardcore band but more like what you would think of from a band such as Hole (Who I keep going to as my reference point for some reason) Can I say this song has a more mellow tune to it than the others because of its length? Was this written while high? Is this that stoner slop everyone keeps telling me about? Oh well, I still enjoy the overall sound of Midnight Norma Lane.
06: “Micro Maps of Happiness” [5:00] -- It takes a while for this song to kick in and when it does, we’re back to that Hole “Doll Parts” sound, as we’re kind of being told a story through the opening lines. I really like this song because it seems to have a minor musical role while vocals can be heard, but then when the vocals go away, the musical portion takes over in a full onslaught. It becomes this fire that doesn’t sound like a metal or hardcore band by any means, but it still manages to burn all which gets within its way.
These six songs go for nearly twenty four minutes and if you’re a fan of female fronted bands like Hole, Garbage, Kittie and especially L7, then I recommend this band to you for certain. It has a sort of grunge vibe to it that I’m really digging and in some ways it sounds like what I would imagine it to sound like if Courtney Love (or perhaps someone slightly more talented) was to front one of my all-time favorite bands that everyone probably forgot about: Hum. Yes, to see Midnight Norma Lane live and hear them cover “Stars” would not only be completely expected (In a way that it makes perfect sense) but it would also be a great treat.
Recommended Downloading Level: 4/5 - Joshua Macala

14 Brand-New Houston Bands You Should Know About
By: Chris Gray
Thursday night in New York City, Houston promoter The Convoy Group and several other companies (including Brooklyn Vegan's Austin bureau) co-sponsored "The Texas Takeover," an evening of all-Lone Star music at Chelsea drinkery Rebel NYC, part of the famous emerging-talent festival CMJ. On the bill were Houston's Tontons, New York City Queens and Josiah Hall, Austin's Wild Child and Shakey Graves, and then Robert Ellis, who probably belongs to both towns at this point.
Speaking of the Tontons, when the band headed off to play another up-and-comer fest, PopMontreal in early September, it dawned on Rocks Off that the local bands we generally thought of as "new" really weren't that "new" anymore. Folks we had grown accustomed to thinking of as "baby bands" (Fat Tony, Ellis, Buxton, the Tontons, Wild Moccasins, Grandfather Child, etc.) have instead been steadily recording and touring for several years now. Even the Wheel Workers/Second Lovers/Poor Pilate/Featherface generation, groups that more or less date back to late 2010 and early 2011, isn't that new anymore.

Shockingly, it didn't take very long after that for us to think, "Well... who is?" We really do try to keep track, but it is a constant struggle; seriously, there is a lot of music out there, Houston.
We asked three promoters who handle what we'll call (no disrespect) entry-level local bands -- Jason Petzold of Pegstar (Fitzgerald's), Treaty Oak Collective's Brandon Lemons (Mango's, Walters) and Phil Peterson of Dean's and Notsuoh -- which bands they first started noticing in the past year or so. Rocks Off added a couple whose names keep coming up in various club listings and whatnot.

You'll have to trust us all on the math, but meet your 2012 freshman music class, Houston. (List is alphabetical.)
Promoters Say: Mentioned by both Petzold and Lemons, who called the quartet "Mazzy Star if [Hope Sandoval] rocked really hard."
Output So Far: Moxy Kid EP (free on Bandcamp)
Upcoming Show: November 9, Fitzgerald's - Houston Press Blogs


Moxy Kid EP



"There’s a an unembellished beauty to this band that is only exemplified by the unadorned nature of the songs they perform. The fact that this is a three piece with varying moving parts per song, makes one wonder how these songs translate in a live setting. Aside from that, “Consequences” is easily one of the most original and different sounding album I’ve heard out of Houston in a long time."


Band Members