Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A coupla new gooduns from Saustex Media

Jeff Smith's San Antonio-based label Saustex Media has released some of my fave platters of the last coupla years, including slabs by ace pop rockers The Service Industry, beloved Mission City institution Snowbyrd, and Jeff's own band the Hickoids. So a package with his postmark gets my attention.

First out of the bag was The Rock Garage Texas Live Concert Series, a compilation put together by The Rock Garage, a mainly-but-not-exclusively Austin-centric recording project helmed by photojournalist Michael Crawford. It's a rough 'n' rowdy set, encompassing 15 stompin' selections by the likes of Honky, whose singer-bassist/ex-Butthole Surfer Jeff Pinkus sounds like David Lee Roth fronting the Melvins on "Just a Man;" Nashville Pussy, Atlanta hotsoes who put redneck rawk together with Detroit-via-Scandinavia ramalama and then shake, rather than stirring on "Good Night for a Heart Attack;" PONG, who perform an amusing burlesque of dance music on "Click Off;" Churchwood, who reprise "Vendide Fumar," a bit of brawny Beefheartismo from their worthy full-length; and "Screaming Out" by Lions, who demoed every move from the GIG magazine compendium of stagecraft when I saw 'em open for Mike Watt in Dallas a couple of years ago. Play it loud and piss off your local equivalent of the yuppies that live around Sixth Street and Red River.

Glambilly's White BBQ Sauce is the brainchild of Appalachian-born dramatist and 10 City Run frontman Hans Frank. The band name puts me in mind of the late Robin Sylar's Surfabilly project, while their music puts me in mind of the few months I lived in Austin at the ass-end of the '70s, before genre nazism became the norm, when the same people would often show up at shows by Asleep at the Wheel and the Huns. While it's not camp enough to fit this jaded listener's definition of glam, it has the same spirit as ex-Nervebreaker T. Tex Edwards singing murder ballads, especially when Frank throws away a classic line like "I've got my memories, he's got you" on "Memories." Frank can be creepy, as on the answering machine message-poem "Pablo," or haunting, as in the lower-depths vignette "Apt. 7902." Either way, you get the impression he's not fooling. Guitarist Danny Aaron (Dangerous Toys) provides the requisite crunch and twang.


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