The Couch: “Ratchet”

We’re smack dab in the midst of Free Week again folks! That means us locals get to sample a pretty wide swath of the kind of live music our fair city has to offer for pretty darn cheap. One band working hard this Free Week is Austin rock ‘n’ roll foursome The Couch. They’re playing three shows, including one tonight at Club DeVille and Saturday night at The Mohawk, and you’d be remiss if you didn’t catch at least on of ’em.

The Couch came chargin’ out of San Marcos a couple years back, but since, they’ve firmly established themselves here in Austin as an act to be reckoned with. The band had a couple EPs under their belt when they released their first full-length Old & Touchin’ Blue near the close of 2011. When they recorded the album, The Couch was still a trio (consisting of drummer Jud Johnson, bassist Kyle Robarge, and frontman and main songwriter Taylor Wilkins), but they wouldn’t stay a three-piece for much longer.

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Sara Houser joined the group in time for some summer 2012 singles, and her influence is all over the band’s self-titled, sophomore record (released early in December). The Couch is a slightly more textured affair than the hard-chuggin’ rock of their previous outings. But rest assured, the rock is most definitely still there, and the balance is on full display with today’s song of the day, “Ratchet,” which appears on the new record, and features Houser on lead vocals. The song burns slow like a candle, building plenty of ominous tension. The choruses release like a tightly coiled spring. The version we have for you today was recorded live in Studio 1A, and live is something The Couch do pretty darn well.

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