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Centro-Matic

A prolific, eclectic, alt-country band based in Denton, Texas, Centro-Matic began in 1995 as a side project for singer/songwriter and guitarist Will Johnson. Though Centro-Matic released a few singles that year, it wasn't until 1997 that the project began to resemble a full-fledged group. After recording the 23-song debut album Redo the Stacks at his friend Matt Pence's home studio, Johnson enlisted Pence as the band's drummer, along with cellist/violinist Scott Danbom and bassist Mark Hedman. The fully formed Centro-Matic recorded over 60 songs in a Milstadt, Illinois studio space owned by Son Volt's Jay Farrar; of those, some of the quieter, more emotional songs ended up on the 1999 Idol Records album Navigational, while some louder lo-fi tracks were collected with B-sides and other unreleased material on the same year's Quality Park release The Static vs. the Strings, Vol. 1.

With still more songs in reserve, Centro-Matic obtained no-strings-attached deals with both labels, allowing them to release as many albums as they wanted beginning with 2000's All the Falsest Hearts Can Try. For his next trick, Johnson built a side project inside his existing side project, the dour South San Gabriel Songs/Music. But before anyone could dwell on that, Centro-Matic released Distance and Clime through the Idol label in 2001, and Johnson spent the rest of the year putting the finishing touches on his first solo album, 2002's Murder of Tides. Love You Just the Same followed in 2003; by this point, tracking Johnson's restless songwriting heart was as fascinating as hearing his consistently strong output.

More amazingly, Centro-Matic toured like crazy men this entire time, criss-crossing the country (and Europe) with acts as disparate as Jay Bennett, Brendan Benson, Slobberbone, and the Promise Ring. Sweet remainders of the Love You Just the Same sessions surfaced in 2004 as the Flashes and Cables EP, and Johnson released the solo album Vultures Await later that year. Another solo release, Survey/Voyage, appeared one year later. Centro-Matic was busy in 2006; not only did the band release the Triggers and Trash Heaps EP and full-length Fort Recovery, but the year also marked Centro-Matic's tenth anniversary. Things slowed down after that year, however, with Centro-Matic issuing a two-disc set (2008's Dual Hawks, whose second disc consisted of South San Gabriel's material) before Johnson took some time off to play drums with Monsters of Folk. Returning to Centro-Matic in 2010, Johnson and company began revising and recording the songs they'd written before the short hiatus, resulting in 2011's Candidate Waltz.

In 2012, Centro-Matic announced on their website they were beginning work on their next album, but in between sessions for the record, Johnson embarked on several solo tours (many devoted to intimate living room concerts) and released an album with his side project Overseas, featuring David Bazan, Bubba Kadane, and Matt Kadane. The patience of Centro-Matic's fans was rewarded in June 2014, when the group released their 12th album, Take Pride in Your Long Odds. ~ Heather Phares
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Take Pride In Your Long Odds

1. Take Pride In Your Long Odds

2. Every Mission

3. Salty Disciple

4. Cross Path

5. Anything Torn Out

6. Academy Of Lunkers

7. Calling You Glad

8. Cynthia Glass

9. Hey There, Straps

10. Relative Unto The Aces

11. On The Ride Back

12. Through The Fog, Then Down

x

Track List: Candidate Waltz

1. Against The Line

2. All The Talkers

3. Iso-Residue

4. Estimate X 3

5. Only In My Double Mind

6. Solid States

7. Shadow, Follow Me

8. Mercedes Blast

9. If They Talk You Down

x

Track List: Operation Motorcide Ep

1. All This Fresh Mutiny

2. Atlanta

3. Operation Motorcide

4. A Celebrated Crime

5. Blood On The Floor

6. Daggers Sharp Enough

7. Circuits To Circuses

8. 74 Cuts, 74 Scars

x

Track List: Triggers And Trash Heaps

x

Track List: Distance And Clime

1. The Connection's Not So Civilized

2. Fountains Of Fire

3. Scrap The New Rails

4. To Unleash The Horses Now

5. Tundra (Part Seven)

6. The Given Geography

7. Truth Flies Out

8. Janitorial On The Channel Fail

9. On The Sagtikos

10. Actuator's Great

11. Tonight Is Not It

12. Decorated Equals

13. Patiently Standing

14. Upton The Riverhead To Mastic

15. Call Down The Systems And The Ranks

x

Track List: All The Falsest Hearts Can Try

1. Cool That You Showed Us How

2. The Blisters May Come

3. Call The Legion In Tonight

4. Strategy Room

5. Huge In Every City

6. Saving A Free Seat

7. Save Us, Tothero

8. Most Everyone Will Find

9. Gas Blowin' Out Of Our Eyes

10. Magic Cyclops

11. Would Go Over

12. Hercules Now!

13. Members Of The Show 'em How It's Done

14. Aerial Spins/Nautical Wilderness

x

Track List: South San Gabriel

1. Ninety Secretaries Down

2. Proud Son Of Gaffney

3. To Accompany

4. The Fireworks Treatment

5. With Broken Hands

6. The Ensuing Light Of Day

7. One-Hundred Thousand Bridesmaids

8. Glacial Slurs

9. Innocence Kindly Waits

10. Destroyer

x

Track List: The Static Vs The Strings Vol.1

1. Calling Up The B**tards

2. Who's Telling You Now?

3. The Execution Of Some Sixty-Odd Drummers

4. Neighbors. Habits. Downtown.

5. Recaptured The Silent Way

6. Repellant Feed

7. Turning Your Decisions

8. Wrecking This Show

9. D. Boon / Free (A Ninth Grade Crime)

10. Say Something / 95 Frowns

11. Curb Your Turbulence (Rock Show Is Coming)

12. Now That You Have Blown Away The Cards

13. You Might Need This Now / Most Peaceful Yeough

14. Keep The Phoenix In Slow Motion

x

Track List: Navigational

1. Nevermind The Sounds

2. All Hail The Label Scouts

3. Ruin This With Style

4. With Respect To Alcohol

5. Ordinary Days

6. This Viscious Circle

7. Cross You That Way

8. Ballad Of Private Rifle Sound

9. Not Forever Now

10. Numbers One And Three

11. Lasted Til Tuesday

12. Hazlitt Takes To Shore

13. Line Connect Aim

14. The Panacea Tonight

15. The Massacre Went Well

16. The Beautiful Ones

Comments

Report as inappropriate
My favorite band! Will Johnson is a genius!
Report as inappropriate
papaherb64
I love love love Centro-Matic . . . s a w them play at The Ritz in Ybor city this year (birthday present to self)
Report as inappropriate
interesting. I like them. :)
Report as inappropriate
I love this band. A great rock band...with beautiful songs.

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