Red Eyed Fly, September 6, 2003
Local pop gods and AMN staples Kissinger took
a break from playing back in May to write and record some
new songs. Fortunately, in that time off they kept their ass-kicking
lineup of Chopper (vocals, guitar), Steve Garvey (guitar),
Lucky (bass) and O3 (drums), and brought it out last night
at the Fly.
Nestled among the short setlist were two of
their new numbers, Certain Girls and Sister Vikki (about a
prostitute from Prague.) During the hiatus the band lost none
of their characteristic energy and dished it out for the revved
After the show I was able to catch up with
Lucky and get the scoop on what’s been going on and
what’s coming up.
Rank & Revue - So how did Kissinger spend
the time off?
Lucky - We rehearsed and recorded eleven new
songs, six of which we made into a demo with the idea of shopping
it to labels and booking agents. We are unsigned and have
no booking agent other than ourselves and no team member other
than our manager.
R&R - How did you feel about tonight’s
Lucky - I felt really good about it. We played
a really short set, because we like to leave people wanting
more rather than giving them too much. I felt like we played
well and the crowd was great. It was fun and I’m glad
to be playing shows again. We tried to not get too crazy this
time since we haven’t played in so long, but when we
got onstage 90% of that just went out the window.
R&R - Some of the older songs seemed to
have been reworked with more noise thrown in.
Lucky - I think that’s just a byproduct
of beer and having a bunch of people having a good time. We
left those songs alone all summer because we were working
on eleven new songs.
R&R - What’s next?
We have another show this month in San Marcos
and one more in town in October. Then we are going to start
practicing for our Midwest tour which we leave for on the
15th and play through the 29th. It’s going to be another
Of Joe/Friends Of Lizzy
Red Eye Fly, August 26, 2003
I hate to be quaint and straightforward,
but my sense of live music appreciation was covered with blankets
of boredom on Tuesday. The service and company at the Red
Eye was top-notch and stimulating as always, while the actual
show fell at little short of entertaining. The sound was sub-par,
complete with recycled pop rock and a pair of bands that sounded
exactly the same.
Friends Of Lizzy drew a sizeable crowd and
received plenty of applause and “wooos’’
after each tune. The four piece was animated and really into
their own music-I however was not. The melodic, shoe-gazer
rock bursting from the amps didn’t wet my whistle one
bit. The vocals were inaudible and flat while the repetition
of pop-sensible hooks caused me to zone out and read every
inch of my Lone Star can. Ever been there folks? Next, the
band did a Weezer cover (I don’t advise this at all-a
true Rock ‘n Roll Don’t, and I think Wendy would
agree). I contemplated leaving in search of anything new and
refreshing for my ears. Something with balls. Thankfully,
the group closed the set with a bundle of neo-garage riffs
that actually gained speed and momentum, peaked at semi-punk
proportions, and made the total count of songs that rocked
for the evening…one.
Son Of Joe sounded like Friends Of Lizzy,
causing my brain to construct future live music nightmares
of Lizzy and Joe’s friends hosting a battle of the bands
for all the sons of the emo-pop, cry-baby chumps. NOOOO! I’m
sorry kiddos-this is all a bit harsh, but creativity should
drive all of us. That, or at least some sheer talent behind
your instrument or vocals. Son Of Joe played to a small crowd
and I truly felt bad for these guys. There were some bendy-guitar
effects and distorted pedals on the bass, but overall the
four-piece was stale, and the music was grueling. I might
catch some flack for this one, but I’ve yet to attend
a full show on Red River that I truly hated…until now.
Edge magazine presents “The Real Texas Edge” CD
Red Eyed Fly, August 30, 2003
Thanks to The Edge for putting all this together.
The show and the compilation CD serving up hard-n-heavy Texas
bands, which they so generously doled out to the crowd. Thanks
to Manny Escamilla, Powderburn’s manager, for bringing
me in for the last two bands. And thanks to the Jolly Garogers
pirates for goofing me up while I hid behind a tree, guarding
my video camera from the small brood of thrashers who drove
me away from the stage. No, thanks to them, I already had
my back broken by one of those spastic sacks of bile.
First I saw Bud. Their lead-screamer ripped
my face off. Then, the light show fired up as the giant pirate
“Stagedive” introduced Powderburn. “There
are bands... that will change the course of music. This band...
is not them. There are bands that will defile the corpses
of their long-dead fans. This band is them!” I held
higher expectations than that for Powderburn. I’d seen
them before, at the recording studios on Academy, and I was
intrigued. Intrigued by their subtle breakouts of eerie guitar/strings,
by their extraordinary sense of rising power, and by singer/guitarist
Ken Lockman’s mischievous magnetism, his cherubic face
and red whips of
hair bleeding over that face like he plowed head-first through
What I caught of this jovial event was a good
soundtrack for a pitbull fight. Powderburn and Bud are both
solid contenders in this punishing, punk/death/rap-infiltrated
genre some call New Metal or “Nu Metal” -- a trend
currently being cloned and pimped by the corporate world,
a trend over
which there has been genre-debate ad-nauseum in the Metal
world. I will not try to say who/what is “Metal”
(that’s Metal Ed’s job). But, I will try to explain
why this sound alienates me like no other heavyweight. The
original Metal Gods, from Sabbath to Metallica, didn’t
rely on riff-stamping and screaming generic naughty words,
because they had supreme powers of creative
articulation. Within the realm of heaviness, they expressed
a complexity of emotions and created their own distinct style.
This new branch of metal, the worst case of copy-catting since
80’s Glam, has devolved into a minimally-musical, painfully
predictable sound expressing juvenile male
anger. Band after band pounds out the same one-chord, bullying
riff that is the paradigm for the trend, which even His Retarded
Highness Ozzy has finally been sucked into. The craft of song-writing
has gone down the toilet.
Having clogged that toilet with my opinion
on New Metal, let me plunge forth and admit my affection for
Powderburn. They stand out, for one thing because they’re
GROOVY - and no less heavy for it. Originality comes through
in their guitar breaks and Ken Lockman’s appealing,
more sincere (Nirvana-inspired?) singing tone, which adds
dynamic to the great hellish yelling. Oh yeah, and ass-kick
bassist Greg Enkler has awesome Metal hair. These guys are
so cool they must be from the East Coast or something. My
main problem with their show was that the only lyrics I could
make out were “fuck, motherfucker, bitch,” and
“you fuckin’ whore”. Which are words as
useful as any other, if you get the context (I’d like
to check out an album; reading the lyrics might reveal what’s
more to the story). I dunno, I could relate to it in the punk
rock days, but all this cussin’ lately just fucking
No question, these bands rock hard as hell.
Highly recommended for fans of the rap-core style. Powderburn
is a rising force, a throbbing mob of talent with the power
to transcend this cesspool of conformity, which is named “new
metal” only to besmirch the name of Metal.