Suicides’ Last Show Ever
If only we had known this would be the final Eastside Suicides
show, we might’ve made it the 710’s last punk
rock show ever. The place needed a permanent scar to mark
their passing, but the only physical evidence is some fading
blood stains on the stage leaked from a gash on Frankie’s
arm. Yelping and squirming around on broken glass in spray-painted
T-shirts and leather pants, the lanky, bleach blonde frontman
is frequently compared to the Germs’ Darby Crash, who
Kim Fowley claimed as the King of L.A.’s larval punk
rock scene long before Frankie had even taken his first toke.
Comprised of beloved Blue Flamingo all-stars from the Reclusives
and the Chumps and including fabulous Fast Tammy Loose, the
Eastside Suicides hit during Red River’s transformation
into the healthy scene it is today.
Maybe almost midway through their respectable four-year lifespan,
tempermental bassist Andy Martin was replaced by ex-Hatchback
BJ, and it’s he who appears on the long overdue full
length recording for local label, Super Secret. Without the
drama, the band loosened up and zeroed in on writing better
were featured twice in the Austin-American Statesman when
the White Stripes fucking exploded and suddenly everyone wanted
to find out about “garage rock.” Close inspection
might uncover songwriting equally as inspired by the uptown
pathos of Bob Dylan as the downtown grit of Johnny Thunders.
Frankie drew outrageous lyrics from the spiritual ghetto of
drug abuse, sexual frustration and personal injury and captured
the nicotine-stained hearts and minds of a growing number
of button-covered rockers at home and on the road.
Personality,” “Black Leather Boots” and
“Tell Me” stand up as classics as much as anything
to come out of Texas in the past fifteen years. They were
the justification I used for doing a local radio show and
writing about rock and roll, but the Eastside Suicides also
helped the scene grow up a little, and down on the street
these days it looks like we’re heading for art school.
/ Show Me On The Doll
Maelstrom is a new Scandinavian-influenced metal band I’ve
been waiting to see. They’d crashed onto the bill too
late to be listed, but a phone call from guitarist Caleb Pruitt
prodded me out the door for the early show. They came off
tight, with guitar sound in the static-mush realm. They are
METAL from the black side, somewhat melodic, dour and doomy,
taking inspiration from bands like Dissection, At The Gates,
and Naglfar. Self-described ex-punk-rock kids, Caleb and co-guitarist
Westbrook played together previously in Like Flies On Flesh.
C-Vok on bass was ultra cool, and drummer Mike Melnick pulled
off the “2nd live show of his life” without dropping
a hint to his alleged inexperience.
For the opening slot, they brought in a good crowd –
extreme radical types who were there for the metal, obviously,
because the following act cleared them out of the room.
Maelstrom only got to play two songs (granted they were each
ten minutes long) before they had to make way for the goofy
2nd band. Then it was a bleak half-hour wait for the third
band to get it up (time that should have been spent on a full
set from Maelstrom), but the sickness to come turned out to
be worth the wait --
Show Me On The Doll would be “our competition for the
night,” Caleb warned, “cuz of their drummer, Mark”
(ex Death of Millions). No lie, he was a slayer. The rest
of the Doll was dolled up in a well-coordinated flagrant anti-Christian/Catholic
fashion theme: the vocalist wore nothing but a nun’s
habit, black panties and garter-stockings, sandwiched by a
sort of Catholic-school-girl’s outfit and a priest wearing
the biggest upside-down cross ever to hang in the South. Oh,
and the death face paint… you could call these guys
gory slutty death metal. Awesome goofy variety in the vocal
dept. - no real singing, just barking and blood-draining screeches.
Amazing drummer. Highly entertaining. Total retards. This
band is extremely evil and they rule. Hail Satan!
-- Bek Sabbath
/ Abigail and Hansel / Baby Robots / Devil Bat
Room 710, Mon. Dec 22nd
the smell of misunderstanding. Nearly every musician on stage
this evening (except King Coffey, tonight drumming for Abigail
and Hansel) has been an integral if unknown and unappreciated
part of the Austin music scene for any number of years. Former
members of outfits as varied as species of fern. Girl Robots
(no relation to Baby Robots, but wouldn’t it have made
sense, somehow?), ST-37, and Roky Erickson’s Evil Hook
were just a few of the bands represented here, on an evening
where more than one formerly meandering outfit finally found
themselves rooted in rock and roll soil.
Missionary started off the evening with an art-punk slap and
tickle, coming off to a disturbing degree like the Swell Maps
with a twitchy cello.
Abigail and Hansel, consisting of former members of Olive
among others, made the longest stride to gain rock-solid footing.
Recruiting a full band was the best move Joel and Michelle
could have made. AND, King is exceedingly fun to watch while
he’s pounding the crap out of a drum kit.
Baby Robots: Love and Rockets in a blender (comic or band,
take your pick).
What can one say about the Devil Bat? The second husband/wife
team to hit the stage this evening, the Bat have gone from
being an almost unlistenable two-piece (sorry Dave and LeeAnn,
don’t throw me out of the Sac) to a seriously rocking
band. You thought Dave was an amazing drummer? You should
see him play guitar.
Seriously. –Trevor Wallace
Haynes & His Problem
Room 710, January 3rd
So I’ve lived in Texas for the past
eight years and still have not seen the Butthole Surfers play
live. I’ve had the opportunities, I just never made
it to their limited amount of shows here in Austin. Now Gibby
has a new project since the Surfers are on a hiatus. Gibby’s
new band includes an all-star lineup of Shandon Sahm on drums,
Kyle Ellison on guitar, and Nathan Calhoun on guitar and sometimes
y, I mean bass. Looking like a computer nerd, Haynes led his
new band through over an hour-long set of psychedelic vocal
aural swirlies set atop solid pop music. The images projected
onto the back of the stage added a visual element to an already
almost overbearing palette. Simple hooks and melodies from
the band and backup sequencers made Haynes’ vox twiddling
easier to handle and not so overwhelming as when some psychedelic
bands play completely different parts while their frontman
goes crazy with the vocal cheezwhiz.
The place was packed that night as it will be when a local
hero comes to play. It took me half the set to make my way
up to the front, I guess a lot of people must have left after
they got the gist of what was going on. I enjoyed GH&HP’s
set, but can see why some have called the new band boring.
There are only so many times you can put a delay and pitch
shifted vocal wail over some nice pop tune and call it exciting.
If you have never seen these guys then you
are fuckin stupid!
So here's the deal, I am not a musician and
I have no clue as to any technical ability about any band
I review. Plus I have never been one of those people that
can tell you about every band they have ever heard, let alone
all the records made or the names of every one in the band.
But I do know what I like! And I liked the Pink Swords.
When categorizing the music I listen to,
it is my explicit wish to stay stuck in time...about 15 to
20 years ago.
The Pink Swords pull together all the shit
that rocks, from punk to thrash, hardcore to metal, and still
have their own sound. Everything was clean sounding. These
guys have got their shit together, and a sound that rocks.
Screamin’ energy, in your face, fast, furious, and wound
up like the Tasmanian devil, Pitts puts on a show! And if
you see ‘em in a joint like Headhunters you will get
this full frontal experience eyeball to eyeball. For the sake
of keeping this a shorty… the rest of the guys have
every bit as much energy and stiff dick rockin’ attitudes.
They play their shit like it’s time to rape, pillage
and plunder (no mercy for the weak). And this is a good thing!!!
-- Johnny “Doc” Mac
Carrera/The Real Heros/Scott “Hospital” Biram
Room 710, Wednesday December 31st
chose to spend New Years Eve rocking in the New Year at good
ol’ Room 710 with some of my favorite musical acts and
fellow Rank and Revue wankers. I left the House of Rock around
9:30pm, easily scoring a parking spot three blocks from my
destination. Scott Biram was already playing as I gained entrance
from Dylan the doorman. Freshly out of the hospital, Biram
seemed in regular form as he stomped and picked his way through
his lo-fi bluesy country punk. The Real Heros took the stage
after Biram, and rocked the stage with their pseudo glam rock
playing one of my AMN favorites “Don’t Turn Twenty-six.”
Tia Carrera was up next. The last time I saw them was when
they were a three piece and this time around they had Ezra
(the bassist from the Free Range Bastards and keyboardist
for WC Clark) tickling the keyboard ivories. I think TC might
have had four breaks in between at least ten-minute-long hot
fluid metal improvisations. Eric Conn, drummer extraodinaire,
kept the psychedelic beat nearly flawless as Jason Morales
led the way on his axe. Another fine ear-abusing set by TC.
The next band, one of my new favorite bands of 2003, The Spiders
took the stage and rocked the damn house down as only this
quirky band can. Chris Benedict jumped and gyrated on stage
like a true rock nut while the band stayed rock steady behind
him. Always a good show, and this time I did jump up and scream
- James E
Walker/ Speedoader/ Shiv
Room 710, 1.01.04
the toughest night of the year to bring rock to the table.
Upon arriving to the club a little too early, it was obvious
in the eyes of the few that were there (most of which were
about to play) that there was an extremely high level of debauchery
the night before. But surprisingly each band stepped up, held
it in, and went for it, like it was the best show they would
First up was Jacket Walker, a local new to the scene in this
format. The band is made up of Curt (bass/Dixie Witch), Russell
(lead singer/guitar play) and Tim (drummer), both from Superheavy
Goat Ass. Tough, heavy, mid-tempo riff-rock, and southern
style with enough changes to keep you on your toes. However,
it was a bit too short of a set due to time restraints. Speedloader
followed with an even shorter set. Heavy, drop-tuned, noise
rock. Originally hailing from NYC, but now transplanted to
Austin. They were much in the vein of Amphetamine Reptile/Trance
bands…but with attitude.
Activator had a longer set. I have no idea why. But they were
way too much like Kyuss. However, an impressive vocalist and
stacked Marshall amps, blended the riffs and rock into a nice
Shiv was an excellent treat. Heavy, big chords, tight riffs
and an apparent fuck-all attitude. With this line up there
was no way for this band to go wrong. Especially with members
of Gahdzilla Motor Company, HeKill Three, and Transfixer.
It was a low, big, angry, quick-tempo punch to the face. With
blazing solos ready to rip your skin off with the sharpest
of scalpels, supplied by local hero Chris Connely (GMC), they
tore the shit up. They were akin to the likes of Converge
or other Escape Artist bands. Look for these guys in the future.
All in all, nothing but pure hot sauce to the eyes rock…Despite
the moderate turn out.