By: Maile Carballo
Since their formation in 2008, the garage-pop duo, consisting of high school friends Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, quickly distinguished themselves by seamlessly blending pop sensibilities with a captivating touch of lo-fi charm. Now, this year marks the 10th anniversary of Generationals’ pièce de résistance album Heza, which put the band on the map during the final years of the indie sleaze scene. Their response? Heatherhead, a new collection of 11 tracks embodying Generationals’ bittersweet beauty without any unnecessary frills or fillers. They’re basically like indie-rock anthems turned into snug, familiar sweaters perfect for any time of the year.
While their retro vibe is marked by the influence of Phil Spector’s mid-century pop, Generationals’ sound spans a wide range of styles, incorporating elements of neo-psychedelia, dance, and even hints of indie-folk. Despite their near limitless musical experimentation, each new entry in the bands discography continues to hone in on their biggest strength: their exceptional pop songwriting. Fortunately for long-time fans of Generationals and newcomers alike, the band has managed to keep this musical element fresh and familiar in the creation of Heatherhead.
The album opens with Ted Joyner’s iconic fuzzy falsetto in “Waking Moment,” followed by an ear-catching guitar riff in “Dirt Diamond.” Amidst the band’s well-known happy-go-lucky wall-of-sound, listeners can catch a newfound introspection evident in tracks like “Death Chasm” and the album’s closing piece, “Mitsubishi.”
Now in the midst of their first tour since their 2019 hiatus, Generationals are bringing this pinnacle sound to the stage with Austin local Ramesh of Voxtrot. It’s tours like this too where it feels extra lucky to be an Austin resident. Although the tour kicked off in our southern sister city, Houston, Austin received two outstanding shows, one at the Mohawk outdoor stage and another in KUTX’s Studio 1A. On top of hearing Genertionals’ old familiars and new hits, attendees at the Mohawk performance were even treated to an electro-indie rendition of The Eagles’ classic, “Desperado.” What more could an indie-lover ask for?
Album: Heatherhead (Polyvinyl Records)
Musicians: Grant Widmer – guitar, vocals; Ted Joyner – guitar, keys, vocals; Jonny Campos – bass; Eric Rogers – drums
Credits: Producer: Deidre Gott; Production Assistant: Confucius Jones; Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman, Rene Chavez, Ben Collins; Audio Mix: Jake Perlman; Cameras: Michael Minasi, Renee Dominguez; Deborah Cannon; Edit: Michael Minasi; Host: Jody Denberg