Organized Chaos (in Tejas)
A guide to Red River's annual gathering of tribes
Red 7, 8:55pm The most promising act on Gerard Cosloy's latest local punk shooter, Casual Victim Pile II, OBN III's is the Red River equivalent of the Ramones' Rock 'N' Roll High School, with members of A Giant Dog, the Strange Boys, and brat pack leader Orville Bateman Neeley III, a prolific local producer and guitarist for Bad Sports.
– Austin Powell
High Tension Wires
Red 7, 9:40pm Latest LP Welcome New Machine (Dirtnap) checks in with this Austin/Denton New Wave whirlwind, featuring Riverboat Gambler Mike Wiebe, Marked Men guitarist Mark Ryan, and members of the ubiquitous Bad Sports. – Audra Schroeder
Showcase Spotlight: Beerland
Legal weed or foggy climate, Vancouver, British Columbia's been exporting gunky stuff. This Beerland all-nighter features two fine examples of the Northwest's twin peaks of punk and hardcore. White Lung's (12:45am) 2010 Deranged Records LP, It's the Evil, clocks in at 25 minutes, but unpacks thick riffs, urban ennui, and on-the-verge vocals by Mish Way. It's the sound of beer cans kicked down the streets of decaying cities, but sped up, pulling in Sonic Youth, English punk, and anthems for stoners. Duo Nü Sensae (12mid) followed suit on last year's TV, Death and the Devil (Nominal), bassist Andrea Lukic and drummer Daniel Pitout channeling Flipper. Lukic's screams on "Worms" and "Skull Mecca" come from a Sam Raimi film. D.C.'s Lotus Fucker (11:20pm) and locals the Creamers (10:35pm) begin the kicking and crushing. – Audra Schroeder
Showcase Spotlight: Mohawk
Converge (10pm). In the decade since Jane Doe took metalcore to new depths of despair, Jacob Bannon's soul-rending scream has become the ironclad standard for emotional hardcore. Touché Amoré's (8:30pm) sophomore release, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, is due via Bannon's Deathwish Inc. label, plus has Thursday main man Geoff Rickly's seal of approval. Its West Coast take on New Jersey screamo is one Full Collapse away from underground stardom. Title Fight (9:15pm) buzzes with long-awaited debut Shed, while fellow Northeasterners Trap Them (7:45pm) pulverize bones. Inside, Dead End Path (11:15pm) matches them all riff for knuckle-cracking riff as the Pennsylvania brutalists continue where Biohazard left off, before Ontario's Burning Love (12:45am) brings garage-rock fury. Leave it to the Menzingers (12mid) to lighten the mood with their sing-along-ready folk-punk. – Richard Whittaker
Syria's in crisis. Uprisings in the Arab Republic have resulted in entire cities like Deraa, Baniyas, and Homs falling under siege by government forces. Omar Souleyman can under no circumstances address these matters. That's the lone condition of our interview, conducted at 2:30am via Skype and a translator, with the express warning that government officials may be listening in on the call. That leaves his music, an exotic blend of Iraq choubi and Syrian dabke, regional forms of street folk and party music.
"I always find myself going back, looking back to tradition," offers Souleyman, essentially the world's greatest wedding singer with some 500 releases of live performances at matrimonial ceremonies. "The music mainly gives happiness to the people. It's less sadness that I address. In my opinion, it reflects living here, in Syria, in the city among my people."
Souleyman has a ubiquitous presence at home. His trademark image – sunglasses, a thick mustache, and a kaffiyeh – adorns countless bootleg cassettes saturating local markets, their warped keyboards and frenzied rhythms rolling behind Souleyman's snake-charming vocals. Sublime Frequencies, the global music label run by former Sun City Girls bassist Alan Bishop, introduced the phenomenon internationally with three excellent retrospective collections, the most recent being last year's Jazeera Nights: Folk and Pop Sounds of Syria. Souleyman recently worked with Björk, his first duet with a foreign artist.
"My feeling was that because the music was so special that it would draw the attention of the people," posited Souleyman about the collaboration, though he could have been describing his own catalog. "It has something really individual to it, not to be compared to other pieces." – Austin Powell
Showcase Spotlight: Emo's
Baltimore headliner Lower Dens' subdued jangle at 1:05am should provide quite the mood swing at Emo's. Former Texan Jana Hunter keeps her stoic vocals from last year's Twin-Hand Movement but goes melodic and electric. The real catch here is Olympia, Wash., trio Milk Music (11:15pm), which whiffs Nirvana, GBV, and the Wipers, with new 12-inch EP Beyond Living melting under the weight of mighty catchy riffs. Locals the Young (10:30pm) and Columbus, Ohio's Unholy Two (9:45pm) set the pace inside. Outside, blackened and charred legends Autopsy lead the hardcore charge. – Audra Schroeder
Showcase Spotlight: Scoot Inn
Save for the Scoot's heavy mayhem in March, live metallurgy from home and afar has suffered a Lone Star drought, a steady tickle in need of a flash flood or two. Welcome, Chaos. Headliners Amplified Heat (11pm) scorched the Eastside cabin last month with a power trio back draft, and Orange Goblin (10pm), 15 years in with six LPs and enough dead-leaf Sabbath psych to choke the Chunnel, brings London's Soho district to bear. At Fun Fun Fun Fest last fall, Georgia rebels Kylesa (9pm) emptied the swirling vortex of career high Spiral Shadow in broad daylight. Expect the inversion of that from Indianapolis trio the Gates of Slumber (8pm), whose fifth disc, The Wretch, eschews Conan the Barbarian for a straight Sabbath catalog peak. Brooklyn psych trio Naam (7pm), Houston heshers Sanctus Bellum (6pm), and locals Rust (5pm) light the torches. – Raoul Hernandez
See You in Hell
Beerland, 5:45pm The Czech noise crew has evolved from extreme metallers into the current Slavic twist on classic Bay Area hardcore. Split EPs with hardcore veterans Contrast Attitude and feedback speedsters Systemic Death document it. – Richard Whittaker
The Shitty Limits
Red 7, 9:15pm England's sound of the suburbs has been releasing snide-smart spasms of two-minute post-punk since 2007, trading in pure pogo fun with a satirical, lyrical twist. The Shitty live experience is more chaotic than its Beware the Limits LP would suggest. – Richard Whittaker
Emo's, 10:30pm Perth, Australia, power violence provocateurs Extortion grind five years' worth of vinyl releases, all with very Raymond Pettibon-esque cover art, into a fine powder. Snort it live for best results. – Audra Schroeder
Red 7, 10:45pm Former Recess Records stalwarts Five Year Plan have reformed amidst the cyclonic meteorological mayhem of late. Walking, howling supercell Todd Congelliere is helming Toys That Kill and Underground Railroad to Candyland these days, but F.Y.P's maximum tantrum, blown-amp anthemics remain as abrasively awesome as they were in high school. – Marc Savlov
Gayos in Tejas
Red 7, 11:15pm Still not sure about this "bounce" bidness? Imagine yourself neck-deep in the silliest, nastiest motorboating ever, but instead of boobies, you've got a face full of boo-tay. NOLA sissies Big Freedia and Katey Red kick off National Gay Pride Month in ass-clap style. So gayotic: Chaos organizer Timmy Hefner released Freedia's latest 12-inch on his 540 Records. Opener Cult of Youth's Pogues-in-space vibe would nestle as nicely at Burning Man as Carnegie Hall. – Kate X Messer
AutopsyMacabre Eternal (Peaceville)
After decades of denial, defining death metal drummer Chris Reifert has disinterred the bloodstained kings that first smashed gore into thrash. Rejecting both the coprophiliac humor of 1995's Shitfun and the skittering math rock of 2010's reunion The Tomb Within EP, he chops together a true heir to 1989's Severed Survival. First cut "Hand of Darkness" reigns in blood, while "Bridge of Bones" is epically melodic. Well, melodic for Autopsy. More guts, more glory. (Friday, 12:45am, Emo's)
– Richard Whittaker
The Gates of SlumberThe Wretch (Rise Above/Metal Blade)
Early Maiden accents on this Indy trio's previous pulps, 2009's Hymns of Blood and Thunder and 2008's Conqueror before it, were already downtrending to the full-on gloom and doom of fifth full-length The Wretch. Previous sand-and-sandals epics here become self-loathing ("The Scourge of Drunkenness") and the bilious post-folk Puffnstuf of early Sabbath ("Day of Farewell") – laced with pinpoint atmospherics/psychedelics ("Castle of the Devil"). Calcification weighs down the close, but this "Bastards Born" to doom. (Friday, 8pm, Scoot Inn)
– Raoul Hernandez
Air Traffic Controllers
End of an Ear, 3pm Guitarist Gerard Cosloy and drummer King Coffey passed the underground-cred test separately, but the local noise-punk duo doesn't need to cheat. Still no LP from ATC, so live is where to get over yourself. – Audra Schroeder
The Marked Men
Beerland, 6pm After parting ways last year, Denton's revered quartet siphoned its talents into side projects, so this is another chance to revel in its power-punk anthems. – Audra Schroeder
Antone's, 10:15pm A slight name change from Pure Ecstasy, but the same woozy, sleepy sound from this Austin trio. July's full-length, Pleasure, spells it out on the cover: a red rose placed between black leather handcuffs. This reverb goes all the way up. – Audra Schroeder
Beerland, 1am Your inner child will go yo gabba gabba for this NYC trio. Sophomore LP Stay Home pops off with lo-fi energy and stripped-down 1960s strum, melting cassette tapes and falling down the stairs. – Audra Schroeder
Emo's, 1am More than a thousand hardcore acts owe their sound to Doom's face-smashing 1988 LP, War Crimes, and don't know it. The recently re-formed UK crust punks are the meat-hook-to-the-ear link between Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror. – Richard Whittaker
Showcase Spotlight: Red 7
Much like the zombies they soundtracked (and fought) in 2000 film Wild Zero, Guitar Wolf (12:45am) just won't die. The Japanese trio's leather-bound Ramones revue remained on the rails for close to two decades and is the beer-soaked cherry atop this killer punk bill. Minneapolis trio Off With Their Heads (12mid) takes advice from Hüsker Dü and engages in psychic warfare on latest Epitaph LP In Desolation. San Pedro, Calif.'s Underground Railroad to Candyland (11:45pm) updates past/current projects F.Y.P and Toys That Kill and tips its hat to hometown foredaddys Minutemen. The Marked Men's Mark Ryan channels Buddy Holly and sci-fi warp via new project Mind Spiders (10:30pm), just one of many Texas bands swirling around Portland, Ore., label Dirtnap's stable. More Southern sounds come via Tennessee's Cheap Time (9:45pm) and Austin's the Hex Dispensers (9pm). – Audra Schroeder
Emo's, 12:45am This barreling, bucking Savannah, Ga., fourpiece, led by metallic ink sorcerer John Baizley, followed up 2009's sophomore Blue Record (Relapse) – recorded in Plano – with a big 2010, supporting (in order) Mastodon, Deftones, and finally Metallica. – Raoul Hernandez
FUCKED UPDavid Comes to Life (Matador)
A postapocalyptic punk love story of epic ambition, David opens with a reverb-drenched intro that sounds like this Toronto sextet superglued Philip Glass' fingers to Kevin Shields' brain. Follow-up to 2008's acclaimed The Chemistry of Common Life, it ups the ante, "Queen of Hearts" slamming it all into heartsick overdrive with ecstatic, chiming guitars and frontman Damian Abraham's blistering shrieks. "Remember My Name" is downright Tommy-esque in sound and fury, while closer "Lights Go Up" knots barbed wire. This is a masterpiece. (Sunday, 8:15pm, Mohawk)
– Marc Savlov
Local Vinyl Bin:
Mammoth Grinder/Hatred Surge(Cyclopean)
ManikinMinority Rules (Super Secret)
The Hex Dispensers/King Tuff"Agatha's Antlers" b/w "Hands" (Scion A/V)
Handsomely packaged in 1980s hardcore finery, Mammoth Grinder's apocalyptic clarion calls are perfectly complemented by Hatred Surge's sinewy exhumation of inner turmoil on this split vinyl EP. Grinder-side centerpiece "Pulverizer" trudges stoically through hellish visions of complete control, while an unhinged recording of "Societal Collapse" descends at full speed. Four quick trash-can raps snap Hatred Surge's "Invega" to life. The minutelong skull-cruncher drains into slow grinder "Mood Stabilizer" and the dystopian instrumental closer, "Supernova." Manikin's new 7-inch takes jagged post-punk on an existential, back-alley creep, axe/vox Alfonso Rabago's generalized dissatisfaction reaching a fever pitch on "Hole," as he shouts, "I wanna live just a little bit more." Finally, the Hex Dispensers temper the darkly driving buzz-punk of "Agatha's Antlers" with girl-group-style backing vocals and hand claps on the chorus, which segues nicely into Vermont-bred King Tuff's heavily flanged bubble-glam allure on "Hands."
Mammoth Grinder (Thursday, 8:45pm, Red 7), Hatred Surge (Friday, 7:30pm, Emo's)
Manikin (Sunday, End of an Ear, 3pm)
The Hex Dispensers (Saturday, 9pm, Red 7)
– Greg Beets
Seven Local Heavies
Deskonocidos (Saturday, 3:45pm, Beerland) Hardcore en Español.
Iron Lung (Friday, 9:45pm, Emo's) Fearsome duo performs ear surgery.
Broken Gold (Sunday, 10:45pm, Mohawk) Riverboat Gamblers offshoot spills beer on its Recovery Journal.
Naw Dude (Sunday, 9:30pm, Beerland) Loud fast rules.
Vaaska (Sunday, 3pm, Beerland) Ragin' kegger down by the docks.
Women in Prison (Saturday, 3pm, Trailer Space) Three minutes or less behind bars.
Fingaar Bangaar (Friday, 8:15pm, Antone's) Shred-strumentals: Now with more sitar! Audra Schroeder
The Slowmotions (Thursday, 9:40pm, Emo's) Tokyo blitzkrieg hardcore with promising compilation contributions.
D-Clone (Thursday, 11:50pm, Emo's) Nuclear noise at breakneck speed makes its only U.S. appearance.
Isterismo (Saturday, 10:45pm, Emo's) Italian for "hysteria"; in English: unlistenable.
Origin of M (Saturday, 9:45pm, Emo's) Ex-Gudon members from Hiroshima kamikaze on recent 12-inch debut.
Kriegshog (Saturday, 12mid, Emo's) Last. Show. Ever.
Guitar Wolf (Saturday, 12:45am, Red 7) Tokyo's punk legends start at Wild Zero. Austin Powell
From the Land of Ice and Snow: Five Scandinavian Bands
Asta Kask (Thursday, 10:55pm, Emo's) Sweden's glorious idiot rockers celebrate 33 years as snowbound Toy Dolls.
Hooded Menace (Thursday, 11:45pm, Red 7) Superdoom from Finland horror-meisters rolls like leviathan.
Undergang (Thursday, 11pm, Red 7) Copenhagen, Denmark, thrashers are twisting heads in exorcism with debut Indhentet Af Døden.
Kieltolaki (Saturday, 11:30pm, Emo's; Sunday, 4:30pm, Beerland) Finland has Suicidal Tendencies.
Miasmal (Saturday, 11:30pm, Emo's) Buzz-saw black metal with berserker howls from Gothenburg, Sweden.
Six Locals To Watch
Ringo Deathstarr (Saturday, 11pm, Red 7) Gateway drug rock.
Rayon Beach (Saturday, 11:30pm, Beerland) Tanning in the garage.
YellowFever (Friday, 9pm, Antone's) Duo goes pop, pop, fizz.
Balmorhea (Saturday, 12mid, Antone's) Latest Candor/Clamor piques your bipolar curiosity.
The Young (Friday, 10:30pm, Emo's) Mexican Summer punks are all sweet and swollen.
Survive (Saturday, 9:30pm, Antone's) Everybody plays synth tonight. Audra Shroeder
Eleven Ways To Die
Vile Gash (Thursday, 8:25pm, Emo's)/Nukkehammer (Friday, 4:25pm, Beerland; Saturday, 10pm, Emo's) "This is hardcore made how it should be," says Chaos organizer Timmy Hefner, "from kids in a terrible Midwest town that inspires frustration and anger in all the best ways."
Bone Sickness (Thursday, 9:30pm, Red 7) Olympia, Wash., death metal on par with 2004 horror film.
Tuberculosis (Friday, 6:30pm, Beerland) South Central hardcore features members of Hit Me Back and the Beatings.
Urban Blight (Saturday, 7:45pm, Mohawk; Sunday, 12:30am, Beerland) Vicious Toronto lo-fi hardcore channels Negative Approach on 12-minute debut More Reality.
The Impalers (Saturday, 9:15pm, Emo's) More metalcore morphing of locals Mammoth Grinder and Hatred Surge.
Shitstorm (Saturday, 10:45pm, Emo's) Miami grindcore in 15-second increments.
Abduktion (Sunday, 11:45am, Red 7) Might as well be German for "movement separating limb from axis."
Death Crisis (Sunday, 12:15pm, Red 7) Life Crisis side project (seriously) by San Diego hardcore tantrum-throwers.
Nü-kle-er Blast Suntan (Sunday, 5pm, Red 7) Bizarre Georgia noisecore with a sci-fi twist.
Teargas (Sunday, 5:35pm, Red 7) Chaotic hardcore from Brisbane, Australia. Austin Powell