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Austin quintet Zykos follows a similar playbook as their fellow Texans The Gloria Record (and their dear departed predecessor, Mineral), stretching thick layers of moody atmosphere over a rock solid framework of anthemic and intelligent emotional indie rock. Mike Booher's lead vocals are fairly standard stuff, rough and emotive, sometimes suggesting a raspier Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) in their phrasing. What really distinguishes this band is the combination of great, chiming guitar parts and clean sparse piano lines, which create an air of graceful tension throughout Zykos's songs. The band members have known each other since growing up on the same Houston street and their comfort with one another is apparent in their steady playing and willingness to take musical risks. Another Austin resident, Jim Eno of Spoon, produced Zykos's solid debut album Comedy Horn, out in 2003 on Post-Parlo Records.

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