By Ryan Lacerda
Local Music Reviewer
Artist: The Halfways
Album: The Halfways debut EP
Release date: January 20th, 2016
Featured on KUTX 98.9, the Austin Chronicle, The Daily Texan and winner of the Austin Music Foundation’s Artist of the Month for December, The Halfways released their debut album last month to kick off the year and it is a sonic masterpiece.
Vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter Daniel Fernandez began recording his songs solely in his bedroom while attending college in Miami, Florida. In a spark of destiny, he re-encountered an old childhood friend, Alejandro Facusse, who was to become the current lead guitarist of The Halfways.
Reminiscent of the early Pink Floyd album Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the first track, “Not All Are To Be Trusted” begins with a mysterious, detective-like guitar riff and tiptoeing cymbals. The song blossoms to life when drummer Sean Lochridge poetically pauses before picking up speed along with bassist Justin Martinez, coalescing into a perfect psychedelicious groove. Daniel Fernandez’s sullen and serene vocals gently guide the listener through this sonic voyage. Lead guitarist Alejandro Facusse grazes over the second verse with his Dunlop Crybaby Wah pedal, giving it a slight funk/reggae feel for a bit before going back to the main verses. Indeed, the lyrics reflect the unfortunate truth that many people will manipulate you and in time, you will understand why and learn the difficult lessons of trust and betrayal.
The Middle Eastern sounding guitar intro to their second song, “A Jealous Sea At That (Sometimes Anyway)” hooks you right away and then springs into a skipping-carefree-on-the-beach vibe. A slower paced, innocent sounding acoustic song, “I’ve Said The Wrong Thing” feels like childhood nostalgia. Lush cymbals fill in the beats and an unpredictable jazzy interlude refocuses attention.
The Halfway’s brilliant EP strategically positions them to emerge as one of the best psychedelic rock bands in Austin and show the world what the “Live Music Capital” is all about.