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Gorch Fock

Sailing in the wake of the Butthole Surfers, Ed Hall, and the Fuckemos, sevenpiece Gorch Fock, named after a German three-mast barque, revitalizes Austin's hallowed tradition of avant-garde absurdity with a cacophony of sound led by the trombone blare of frontman Joey Ficklin. The seafaring septet features an oddball assortment of local musicians that includes the dual drum attack of Aaron Seibert and Tia Carrera's Jason Morales, guitarists Kevin Stack and Bryan Nelson, bassist Win Wallace of Gong Li & the Snails, and deckhand Jeff Swanson. Their 2002 self-titled debut, a collection of naval-themed noise bombs, set their sails on Red River, gaining a reputation as one of the loudest shows around, evidenced by their live DVD at New York's famed CBGB, recorded on July 20, 2004. October of that same year found Wallace, Nelson, and Lee Brooks forming Australian Cattle God Records to distribute the band's music, as well as like-minded international and local bands like Bleach03, Attack Formation, and Tia Carrera, beginning with 2005's Lying and Manipulating. Combining found sound with deafening compositions, Gorch Fock speared a serpent with 2006's storied Thrilller. – Austin Powell
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"Gorch Fock is an Austin seven-piece monolith that plays loud and heavy with a trombone. Avant/metal/noise/psych/rock: Two guitars, two drummers, bass, electronics, singer/trombone. " more
07/20/13 @ Delta Millworks
Big Time Summer Rock Show

Call it The Norton Anthology of Austin Punk. Glowing exemplars of sun-blasted Trance Syndicate transcendence, Ed Hall headlines alongside profanely prolific, genre-hopping rabbit holers Brown Whörnet. Gorch Fock’s trombone-addled, dual drum incantations and the intellectual, pervo-punk heroics of the Pocket FishRmen pile on extra meat. Big Boys/Poison 13 guitarist Tim Kerr unfurls his all-in ensemble piece, “Freedom,” while Sabbath specialists Migas and synthesized prog-metallurgists Woodgrain turn sesos to queso. Opening act John Galt kicks off this lumbermill jamboree at 5pm. Cash only.

10/15/11 @
Gorch Fock Reunion Benefit
An ice age has passed since Red River’s naval noise-psych crew dropped anchor. Topping this benefit for Corinne Rose drum dynamo and singer Maria Mabra, who’s battling breast cancer, trumpeter/frontman Joey Ficklin breaks out his midshipman’s regalia with the rest of Gorch Fock (basically the Australian Cattle God roster with Tia Carrera’s Jason Morales on second drums). Scratch Acid spin-off Insect Sex Act, Jeff Pinkus’ hardcore honky-tonkers Pure Luck, Migas, and Power Squid lend a helping hand early, along with a silent art auction.
09/07/07 @ Room 710
Gorch Fock, Lebanon
The dirty uncle to Austin’s Perverted Son Records, Australian Cattle God shelters all things heavy, both here and afar. This label showcase kicks off with the double smash-and-grab of Megazilla and synthcentrics Cat Scientist. Snake Trap’s raging instrumentals snap and crackle, not unlike their Tel Aviv psychedelic counterparts, Lebanon. Locals Tia Carerra work the improv scene, and Gorch Fock sets sail last with naval-themed noise bombs.
08/09/07 @ The Scoot Inn
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Ye olde experimentalists plot murder with Gorch Fock. 7pm.
07/04/07 @ The Scoot Inn
Fourth of July!
For those of us looking to hold on to our fingers and/or vision Wednesday, here are some suggestions that don’t include running in the opposite direction of an errant Roman candle or putting a lit sparkler in your ass crack. Starting at 3pm, Juke’s Auto (702-B Shady Ln.) offers an Eastside-style barbecue with the greasy sounds of Annihilation Time, Last Chance, Iron Age, Here Comes Trouble, and Livin’. The Scoot Inn offers the riff-heavy lineup of Gorch Fock, Attack Formation, Tia Carrera, and many more; Beauty Bar’s equally steamy night includes Big Black Smoke, Scorpion Child, Faceless Werewolves, and Black Earth. For your inner trustafarian, there’s 311, Matisyahu, and Particle (also Thursday) at the Backyard. And at the opposite end of the spectrum is Antone’s White Trash Bash, featuring the Gunhands, Brass Knuckle Buckle, and more.
06/21/07 @ Room 710
Room 710's Anniversary Weekend
Keeping it real (loud, drunk), Room 710 continues with the tradition of aural assault right on through its seventh anniversary weekend, livers and eardrums be damned. The Red River club’s got a lock on cheap beer, neck tattoos, and general rock & roll hooliganistics, and tonight’s lineup is just what Dr. Feelgood ordered: Stinking Lizaveta (Philly metal trio led by Tommy Chong look-alike Yanni Papadopoulos), Migas (two-thirds of Tia Carrera), Gorch Fock (beards, seamen), and Jazzus Lizard (c’mon, it’s jazz versions of Jesus Lizard songs). Friday, the all-local longhair roundup of Dixie Witch, Amplified Heat, the Quick & the Dead, and Sabbath Crow makes you smell the glove. Saturday offers perhaps the most curious lineup, as local favorites Pong headline, along with Vancouver’s smoked erotic comedy duo Canned Hamm, Houston’s indie-flavored Spain Colored Orange, and Austin/outer space classicists Invincible Czars.
08/23/06 @ Beerland
It’s Billy Beerland’s birthday, which, as everyone in the Austin music scene knows, means a week is the appropriate length for celebration. Show Billy some love – he does your band’s sound; he has a boss beard – and get down to the country twang of Heather Rae & the Moonshine Boys on Tuesday, the skronk of Gorch Fock on Wednesday, and the melodic rave-ups of Til We’re Blue or Destroy on Thursday. Beerfest continues into this weekend. See B-Side for more.
06/02/06 @ Emo's CLOSED
Country Teasers
If you can’t quite pinpoint the Country Teasers sound, you can at least say they’re prolific in their elusiveness. The British quintet, led by the nasal ramblings of Ben Wallers, has churned out off-key punk since the mid-Nineties, leaving a trail of more than a dozen albums. Their latest, The Empire Strikes Back (In the Red), offers a critique of race interspersed with a Star Wars obsession. Brilliant. Opening are Japan proggers Green Milk From the Planet Orange and locals Attic Ted and Gorch Fock.
05/02/06 @ Beerland
Gorch Fock, Cue, Horse + Donkey
When is a benefit not a benefit? When it destroys all pity. Brian Ellison, drummer for the wickedly metal trio SteerS, is in a bad spot due to a mysterious incapacitating illness, and friends are coming out of the woodwork to support. Trombone rockers Gorch Fock headline, with the instrumental attack of Cue in second, and the huge echo of Horse + Donkey – as the original fourpiece – blowing off doors. Fire vs. Extinguisher start off the night. Just forget it’s a benefit. This show rocks!
01/04/06 @ Emo's CLOSED
Free Week, Part 1
Few New Year’s resolutions are as practical as vowing to quit smoking, to start exercising, or to stop spying on your neighbors. Before you get on the straight and narrow, why not get a little crooked and indulge in a week of unfettered freedom and potential alcohol poisoning. Emo’s Free Week serves up hot local-on-local action: Tuesday’s lineup features the Eighties-tinged synth pop of Masonic (and hopefully their cover of ABBA’s “S.O.S”), the strummings of Til We’re Blue or Destroy, members of the beloved Winslow reformed as the Paper South, and the shambolic good times of the Shim Shams. On Wednesday, the skronky maritime rock of the collective Gorch Fock slithers up from the ocean floor and tangles with San Antonio’s Boxcar Satan, a band that loves its Cramps with a side of Beefheart. Emo’s own Bill Corsello jostles early Nineties noise rock with Good Times Crisis Band and psych veterans ST 37 cut down the middle and eviscerate. Thursday gets weird and hazy with the plodding time warp of the Black Angels, the euphoric pastiche of the instrumental My Education, and the piercing cacophony of Animals of the Bible and the New Glow outside. Inside, the Arm reaches out and grabs your ear Catholic-school style, while Camp X-Ray and Houston’s Sinews rattle the bottles off the bar, and For Those Who Know bring down the house lights with a little something we like to call “sex music” (also known as shoegaze). And of course the Attak (In)Formation make their yearly appearance on the patio before morphing back into Attack Formation, kind of like a punk rock Transformer. Invest in some Extra Strength Excedrin and swear off cheese fries and body shots next month.
10/01/05 @ Emo's CLOSED
Mono, Bellini, Gorch Fock
Japanese, Italian, American: international cacophony.
09/02/05 @ Elysium
Central Texas Power Wresting
Friday! Friday! Friday! To augment the ring in the middle of the Elysium dance floor – which is sure to have more than enough entertainment for the evening – local media collective Super!Alright! presents rockers of every stripe. Japanese cartoon characters Peelander-Z headline after Dallas’ Marked Men throw down just as fast as the Ramones. Austin favorites the Nervous Exits and Gorch Fock support, and San Marcos kids Clap!Clap! open.
08/14/05 @ Beerland
Gorch Fock
Last show before tour, get ’em while they’re pissed.
02/12/05 @ Beerland
Gorch Fock
Like Soundgarden once hollered, they want to fock, fock, fock - fock you!
01/05/05 @ Emo's CLOSED
Free Week
Good lord! How Emo’s can put together nine days of shows this good without charging a cover is beyond me. The first six are gentle reminders of how lucky we are to live in this city. Drum roll, please. Free week begins Saturday night with River City rockers the Arm, whose ’04 debut should make Mark E. Smith jealous. Electro-rockers Single Frame, the quirky Oh, Beast!, and jam metal of Tia Carrera open. Sunday follows rock with experimentalism as local freaks Aurora Plastics Co. differentiate sound from noise. Iron Kite, Spelunker, and Lung Lunch challenge the senses just prior. Start the workweek off on the right foot (or two of them) with Monday’s post-punk party. Out of hibernation, Dead Whale Tide push the envelope after the similar Fall Collection, pop mavens Masonic, and Vacation Gold, formerly known as SpaceTruck. Tuesday brings a metal edge with Back Room regulars FireKills, Rubberhed’s punk-core, and the fun-loving Midgetmen, plus Corruption Is King and the Kirby. Thrash on Wednesday with the psych rock of Gorch Fock, Storm the Tower’s grindcore, pop-punkers Ignorance Park, and These Men Are Liars. Prepare for the weekend on Thursday with Ben Webster’s offshoot the Attak (iN) Formation, heavy hitters the Sword, San Antonio youngsters Animals of the Bible, and the off-beat Old Tymerz. Whoa! Only three days left. Keep the fuel coming.
10/29/04 @ Room 710
Halloween Weekend
You’ve been there, seen it in person: tens of thousands of Austinites keeping it weird, looping around Sixth Street, popping into shot bar after shot bar. Maybe you don’t want to drink Flaming Dr Peppers and Irish Car Bombs All Hallows’ Eve. Maybe you want a little rock to go with your full moon. There’s plenty of musical frights all weekend. Friday night, the rarely seen Areola 51 haunts Room 710 with the home-from-tour hard rock of Gorch Fock. Jamie Cullum, meanwhile, exorcises his piano man balladry at Stubb’s. Welshmen McLusky scream the rats out of the garage at the Parish, and Sonic Uke blindsides with funny-farm bluegrass at Eastside coffee shop Cafe Mundi. Halloween rears its bloody skull Saturday night with the rotting flesh metal of Cannibal Corpse at the Back Room, with brothers in gore Napalm Death warming up. Experimental local creeps Rubble and Minnesota’s Cock ESP run tests at 710, while the insouciant dream rock of Death Cab for Cutie infects kids at Stubb’s with Pretty Girls Make Graves. The Rockland Eagles blast off after the Yuppie Pricks at the Hole in the Wall, and Fixmer/McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb fame goth out at Elysium. Sunday, Halloween night sees Funk jammers Galactic throw down at Stubb’s opposite the psychobilly of ex-Black Catters Flametrick Subs and Satan’s Cheerleaders at Beerland. The always scary Dwarves splatter their usual 20-minute set at Emo’s with Austin’s Applicators, while the Continental hatches Henhouse with Rosie Flores, Cindy Cashdollar, Sarah Brown, and Lisa Pankratz. Dudley & Bob work out their own demons in Cardboard Vampyres, with Alice in Chains’ Jerry Cantrell and the Cult’s Billy Duffy at La Zona Rosa. KVRX explodes with the noise and experimentalism of Inversion Effect, Numbers on the Mast, and Rick Reed at the Church of the Friendly Ghost. But don’t forget the Pocket FishRmen, who schtick up their annual Halloween (only) show at Room 710 with the equally over-the-top Free Range Bastards and Awesome Cool Dudes. Whoa! Time to drag that corpse back to work.
10/06/04 @ Emo's CLOSED
The Melvins
The Melvins canceled, taking Trevor Dunn with them, but locals Gorch Fock are sticking around along with Japan's Bleach.
08/31/04 @ Emo's CLOSED
Black Dice, Animal Collective
Black Dice is not a rock band. The organic sounds invented by the Brooklyn trio have morphed from hardcore blasts into avant-garde escapism on new disc Creature Comforts (DFA). What once was headache inducing is now ethereal and calming – for the most part. "Our shows are still really, really loud," promises Aaron Warren from the road. "The abrasive and confrontational element is there in the quality of the sound. It’s pretty harsh still, and it just depends on what the audience is up for." The mountain of effects pedals, cords, and keyboards on stage has evolved into something of an obsession for the Providence natives. "I think the gear that we use has come out of a practical need to have cheap, inexpensive stuff that’s available to us readily," Warren explains, "but it’s gotten to this completely extreme impractical level where it makes no sense at all to use it." So why not pare it down to a single laptop? "We haven’t had access to computers even for our own personal computing, so obviously we’re not going to be using them for music," the Luddite justifies. "That’s a pretty evolved state." Evolved or not, Black Dice is in a world of their own: an aggressive melding of nature and technology, without too much technology, and an influx of emotion as unpredictable as the audience. "If we’re feeling that people are stoked and enthusiastic, there can be overall a more positive vibe to the show," Warren notes. "If people are reacting somewhat cooly or are not interested, that’ll sometimes make it more confrontational for us. That happens without us trying to do it. It’s a natural thing." Black Dice-brothers-in-sound Animal Collective share the bill, and Austin’s own Gorch Fock and Rachel Goldstar open.
06/25/04 @ Room 710
Room 710 Four-Year Anniversary
Since its inception in mid-2000, Room 710 has given safe harbor to a wide array of local underground rock acts while also serving as epicenter for the burgeoning Red River music district. While no one bill could encapsulate 710’s musical vibe, this weekend’s anniversary shows come close. Friday is captained by lunatic ensemble Gorch Fock, whose sonic fury approximates 100 Roman candles exploding simultaneously. The Pretty Please, meanwhile, features veterans of Sixteen Deluxe, Ed Hall, and Cotton Mather delivering a fuzz-pop assault. eGypt opens. Combining a bloated hard disk’s worth of laptop loops and the sun-baked psychotic reactions is legendary Butthole Surfers frontman and his band, Gibby Haynes & His Problem, which headlines Saturday in anticipation of their forthcoming Surfdog debut. Also on board are Tia Carrera, which has used its Room 710 happy hour residence as a platform to reinvigorate the power trio concept with its relentless pysch-rock jams. Dress lightly and bring your own earplugs.
02/28/04 @ Emo's CLOSED
The Texas Campaign tour is coming to the capital city, where Emo’s hosts an evening of scurrilous backslapping by the delegates of homegrown label Perverted Son. Rock is the issue as Austin all-stars Gorch Fock lobby for double-drummed noise, and San Antonio’s genre-bending Boxcar Satan unveils a new disc, Upstanding and Indigent, (see review, p.XX). Opening are paternal Perverts Oh, Beast! – debuting new keyboardist Bryan Schmitz – and the on-again-off-again rock of ex-Crust madmen the Bontempi Bros. Rock the vote!
12/12/03 @ Room 710
Rusted Shut is impossible to escape. When this ugly-as-sin noise-punk trio pollutes the stage with their filthy fuzz rumble, there will be rioting, vomiting, spasmodic thrashing, and possibly hurling of rotten vegetables. The 15-year Houstonian vets recently signed to Austin’s Emperor Jones Records, making them labelmates with 710 evening-openers Primordial Undermind, whose wobbly, psychedelic shredding leads into short sets by extreme noise assassins Modern Masters and Nerve Death. Locals Gorch Fock seal the deal with their pummeling, trombone-addled tribal discipline.
11/13/03 @ Room 710
Fall Fascists
Know why the ladies get excited when the air goes chilly? It’s the sudden increase in clothes-to-body ratio. There will be plenty of both at the Parish tonight, Thursday, for Fabrication, an indie-rock-meets-indie-fashion extravaganza featuring three of the hottest, most fashionable new bands in town in Canoe, This Microwave World, and Sound Team, playing in that order… Amid rumors of an engagement to Juliette Lewis, Conrad Keely and the Trail of Dead will be performing on the rooftop of the Shadow Lounge at 400 E. Sixth & Trinity at 9pm tonight as part of the free Smirnoff vodka tour. Free music that is. Friday, the Trail of Dead wrecks another unlikely venue, Lucy’s… For a Thursday nightcap, local freak rock stronghold Perverted Son Records throws a double CD release at Room 710, with surrealist grunt-rockers Oh, Beast! inaugurating their Makin’ It in the Scene EP. The nightmare coalition Gorch Fock follows with two sets, one of material from their new debut album, which they will play for the very last time. A drum procession then heralds the arrival of a full set of spanking-new riddim warfare.
08/10/03 @ Emo's CLOSED
This may be the last hurrah for Helios Creed, one of the most innovative and influential guitarists of the post-punk era. In the late Seventies, his band Chrome welded the outer-space explorations of Hawkwind with the confrontational attitude of the original punk movement. With Chrome and during a long, fruitful solo career, Creed has generated jagged, alien slabs of fuzzed-out aggression with heavily treated vocals, distant yet menacing. Now slowed by hepatitis C, Creed may not be performing for much longer. Opening is the acid-rock caterwaul of locals Gorch Fock and the bewildering Confuzatron.
07/07/03 @ Emo's CLOSED
It may not be the Good Ship Lollipop, but you will wake up with a tummy ache. Meet Gorch Fock, an Austintatious ensemble named after a cult-hero German author and WWI naval soldier who met his end in the War to End All Wars. Witness two drummers, two bassists, and a trombonist for a seasick Monday night journey. Like sister band Tia Carrera, which also employs King Buzzo look-alike Jason Morales, the Fock – featuring members of Gong Li, the Snails, and John Galt – promises to take a bite out of the Red River scene, swallowing up po-faced Friendsters and exhaling them in a blinding flash of napalm, tears, and vomit. If Gorch Fock's Butthole-like dementia doesn’t float your yacht, then John Wilkes Booze, Indiana’s kings of drunken garage-schlock, surely will. Quaffing Real Ales by the gallon, Bloomington’s wily gang of Hoosiers is determined to leave Emo’s fermenting in 40% alcohol and 60% sweat. Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers enthusiasts Black Lipstick open.
Last Updated: August 31, 2007

Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal and Punk
Full Discography:
Gorch Fock (2002)  
Lying and Manipulating
Australian Cattle God (2005)
Australian Cattle God (2006)
From the Archives:
Playback: Dialing In Birdlegg (Music Column July 19, 2013)

Birdleggs, Strange Boys, Moonpies, Ed Hall / Gorch Fock / Brown Whörnet, and other weirdness
TCB (Music Column April 6, 2007)

TCB (Music Column September 9, 2005)

Music news
TCB (Music Column June 3, 2005)

Stumbling through Memorial Day weekend with Small Stars, Gorch Fock, Shane Bartell, and a cast of dozens
TCB (Music Column April 22, 2005)

A bumper crop of indie-rockers move to town, right before Audioslave burns it down
Spotlight: Gorch Fock (Music Story March 18, 2005)

1am, Whisky Bar
Phases & Stages (Music Story January 21, 2005)

Live shots
TCB (Music Column September 3, 2004)

End of an Arts Era (Arts Story January 2, 2004)

A prosperous period in Austin's cultural history came to a painful close in 2003
TCB (Music Column December 5, 2003)

Stuff we read in notes passed in study hall
Sheiks of Industry (Music Story November 21, 2003)

Austin record labels, part 2
Last Days of Rocktober (Music Story October 31, 2003)
A sampling of local acts bring Rocktober to a close.