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thrall photo by larry

rank and revue LOVES handsome joel

Handsome Joel Birthday with Amplified Heat and Honky
Room 710, November 29

I went out last night half expecting to have a good time, the other half expecting to end up in tears, what with the occasion and all. Neither one happened, though.

Yes, it was a festive situation. Everyone was in high spirits and the club was packed. With all the proceeds going to the Safe Ride Home program that we've been trying to throw together for almost a year now, this was a good thing. Once again Joel has helped us all out. On the other hand, I found the situation a tad bit hypocritical, all of us getting fucked up for Joel's birthday and the money we spent to do it will be used to save us all from each other when we get behind the wheel...

Anyway, the bands that I saw sounded great. Amplified Heat is always a pleasure. I can't think of too many local bands that I get excited to see, but these guys always step up to the plate. I regret not having caught them sooner than 3 months ago, but am seriously glad that I'm in the know. This is the kind of stuff that I can imagine getting stoned to back in the 70's. Sort of along the lines of Budgie and that genre.
Honky played next, and of course, what's not to like about these guys? Not only are they all entertaining as hell to watch, but they don't ever try to bust out with some sad, sappy love songs. It's all about tits and ass, having fun and rock and roll. The last song they played was of course dedicated to Joel, with my favorite blonde, Curt Christenson of Dixie Witch playing bass. To be honest, as soon as I found out that Dixie Witch and Brewtality Inc. weren't playing, I hit the road. I've never been a fan of either Ignorance Park or Brown Whornet, and I didn't feel like giving them part of my evening last night especially when Casino El Camino was calling to me like a siren’s call. The rest of the night was spent wandering into bars that I would normally never have gone into with various members of the staff and rowdy roller girl Electrablue.

If Joel had been here, this night would have been way more fun. As it turns out, it was just barely passable. I miss you, Handsome. You always made my nights worthwhile.
xoxox
Corri Mava

Handsome Joel Birthday with Amplified Heat and Honky

thrall photo by larry sternTransfixr / Egypt / Thrall
Rm.710 12/3/03

(Regrettably, I missed CROW. I have heard great things about them and was totally interested. I’m sorry.)

Transfixr is tight. I could smell the practice coming off them. The three-piece drilled stop and jerk songs into the tiny crowd that had come to support the “heavies” of Austin on a school night. Transfixr was a band that made many other bands come to mind; all of which are really solid bands: Unsane, Keelhaul, Victim’s Family, Dazzling Killmen. I really enjoyed the songs featuring two singers. The sound really thickened up when they did this. Generally, there’s a cranking bass sound with dissonant guitar picked out on top of it. I had the thought that they were a Voivod on 45rpm.

Egypt I have a seen a lot. And I enjoy it every time. Mike, Nathan, Matt, and John have crafted an original metal sound with a tongue-in-cheek feel. Egypt is to metal as the Dayglo Abortions are to punk. This time around I finally pegged what I like so much about them: they are so Rudimentary Peni. Simple riffs, two part songs. An enjoyable minimal metal. From the school of Celtic Frost, I wrote in my show notes—jokingly—High on Fire in Special Ed classes. Matt has a genuine metal voice to boot.

Thrall killed, confused and paranoid me. But that’s what you get for listening to Mike Hard’s lyrics. Maddening indictments of the Petrochemical Military Industrial Complex, the Light Skinned Alien (us), and the endless cycle of getting up-to-go-to-work-to-earn-a-check-to-still-not-have-enough-to-feed-the-family all made me shudder to think of the what ifs? of our twisted nation.

His band is first rate. The sound is like a Big Black, Scratch Acid>>Jesus Lizard bass. On top is a screeching, whiny guitar that adds suspense by escalating riffs. The git also backs the bass perfectly in synch to create a power trio punch. Total Midwest strength.

Mike Hard gets right into the crowd and grabs people’s heads as if to heal them. He sings straight to you, eye to eye, and brings the show together. It was the biggest 30 person show I had been to. Thrall completely satisfied, one of the better shows all year.

-Kevin Stack

Slow Poisoners
Room 710, Fri, Dec. 5th

“We left our bass player in Albuquerque,” says San Francisco’s Andrew Poisoner, explaining why the band this evening consists only of himself and the drummer. Fortunately, the band’s songs work whether stripped down to a simple voc/gtr/drm format or given the full orchestra treatment as on their most recent album, Days of the Soft Break.

Coming off a bit like Jonathon Richman’s current incarnation, this power duo tore through a short set of quirky Americana-inspired ditties, pausing only to change the lovingly painted placards bearing the title of each song and, at one point, to have the drummer’s “child molester” moustache shorn off by Zom Zoms’ border-line insane front man, Patrick (who, along with a few cohorts, provided interpretive dance for the entire evening). This was one of the band’s only club gigs, having played a cafeteria at a New Mexico college, a burger joint in San Antonio and some sort of museum in Denton, to name a few, and the band seemed relieved to be playing to a crowd getting good and sauced. The stage-to-audience banter was easy and natural, as though these guys are a staple at 710 rather than a touring act.

With Attic Ted closing out the night, this evening was more entertaining than a day at the freak show.

–Trevor Wallace

Dresden 45Blood of Patriots, Bulemics, Dixie Waste, Dresden 45
Room 710, November 22

Holy hardcore revival Ratman! What a night for us Red River Rats. When you get four bands on the menu, usually at least one of them sucks. Not tonight. Every one of these bands kicked ass. It was another show I stumbled onto aimlessly and would have been really pissed if I’d-a missed it.
Blood of Patriots is a one-year-old thrashy metal band that I’m gonna keep my eye on. AJ on vox/guitar (ex Bavarian Alcoholics), Orion on bass (ex Econoline, Adrenaline Nation), and drummer Doug (ex Avail). Singer/guitarist AJ is like a colonial Lemmy Killmeister dishing out strong thrash/death-metal vocals with a Sepultura-like growl, and compact, twisted leads that show off a sense of humor. With maybe a little too much pause between songs, they ripped through each slice of aggressive, raw, hardcore metal, and even did a song in Spanish. I had to stick my nose all up in their business...
With “Gods Guns & Guts” blasting from the 710 jukebox, the boys filled me in on their past and future hell-raising perpetrations. AJ is natural-born-metal, being a metalsmith by trade, as well as a metalhead by night.
AJ: I was always the biggest Agony Column fan as a kid. I cut my teeth on that shit at Liberty Lunch. Other influences are Motorhead, Johnny Cash, The Accused, DRI, and the Offenders -- who are kind of like Dresden 45. Our music does have political content; the overall message is keep your eyes open and pay attention to what’s going on. For future shows? We want to play with the Malcontent Party; they have a similar philosophy and energy.
Dresden 45Orion: We wanna play as hard and fast as we can until everyone falls down, then get the fuck off stage.
Fans, have your blood-curdling screams and heckling go down in history on the Blood of Patriots live CD, to be recorded December 18 at the Backroom.
Next up was the Bulemics -- some cool punk rock boys, yeehaw! Mostly straight-up 4/4 punk rock with dirty-white-boy lead singer flailing around like a shit-throwing monkey. These guys got “cat style” without trying too hard. And girls, did I mention they’re cute? In a sweaty, alley-cat sort of way. That’s the way we like it, yeah? Loud and sweaty!
Dixie Waste warmed up with a generic punk riff as their two lead singers jumped on stage and paced back-n-forth with nowhere to go. One hellion-blonde chiseled demon and one mousy rogue who was the ultimate anti-fashion statement (but man can this kid scream), they were both great, raspy punk singers, taking turns and yelling in unison, kind of Beastie Boys-like. In the punk rock spirit, they took a minute to thank the previous bands and get the crowd hopped up for Dresden 45. Next song was “Drunk Ambition” which I’d guess represents their general attitude. These guys charmed the shit out of me and I can’t wait to see Dixie Waste again.
Dresden 45 was obviously the anticipated event of the evening, with rowdy fanatics crowding up stage-front and some bigmouth bloke ranting into the mike like frikkin Don King. D45 is a Houston hardcore band from the 80’s that took a break back in 1990. They threw together this reunion show, with Brumby, their kicked-off-the-hockey-team-looking singer flown in from L.A. for one rehearsal – and he whooped some butt! So did their new drummer Jeff Chavez – who I gotta say went totally ballistic on his cavernous, Bonham-sounding drums. This wiry scrapper of a guy was just pounding the shit out of those drums like Bam-Bam fresh out of Ritalin. Yep, shirtless punk rockers are cool. Oh yeah, the guys with shirts on were cool too – Patrick Godbey ripped on guitar with some leads that were surprisingly metal for their punk sound, and bass player Charlie Hardwick ("Uncle Charlie") was loud and gnarly with his hair way up in a poofy pigtail.
Dresden 45D45 slaughtered mass ass, with the energy rising throughout the show. Their fans formed the happiest mosh pit ever, like some kind of punk rock love-in. It was a blast. Wendy and I were freaking out, devil horns in the air, and must have scared the band – later they said they thought we were making fun of them. No dudes, we really mean it! You rock!
R&R: So are we gonna see more of Dresden 45, or is this a one-time reunion?
Patrick: Well, we'll be around – we're hoping to play SXSW, but we're really spread out these days. We’re all from Houston, but Jeff and I live in Austin now. Charlie lives in Houston, and Brumby lives out in L.A. We'll play whenever we can, though.
R&R: Would you replace the out-of-town guys and continue the band?
Patrick: No way. You know, Brumby, Charlie, and I have been through a lot over the last 18 years. It’s almost impossible to replace original members.
R&R: But you found a great drummer, that’s the hard part. Where’d you guys hook up?
Jeff: They found me in the Chronicle, but it turned out we had a number of mutual friends from Houston. It's a small world.
Patrick: Yeah, Jeff was a godsend: He's a fantastic drummer and he'd seen Dresden 45 several times back in the 80's. But the dude hits hard! All of Jeff’s cymbals are cracked and twisted up right now because he hits so hard. Even in practice, I have to crank the shit out of my amp to keep up.
R&R: Any other news for the kids out in RR land?
Patrick: We have a CD coming out next month; it's a re-mastered and expanded version of "Paradise Lost," our LP from 1989, with a bunch of extra tracks. The record's out of print, so it’ll be cool to have it out there again and sounding better than ever. It's the next release from Arclight Records, which is run by Mauro from Speedloader and another dude. It should be released on December 16. Keep an eye out for a puke green cover.

-Beky Hayes

graves photo by larry stern

sniffy photo by larry stern

Dare Diablos photo by larry stern
spiders photo by Danny G.

twin sister photo by Dannie G.

HOT ASS SHIT photo by larry stern

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