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Something Fierce

Don't Be So Cruel (Dirtnap)

Reviewed by Dan Oko, Fri., March 16, 2012

SXSW 2012 Records

Something Fierce

Don't Be So Cruel (Dirtnap)

Was 1991 really the year punk broke? Not according to this Houston threepiece, whose press notes honor the year 1979. That explains the Paul Weller jams and Elvis Costello-worthy album title on its third album. Frontman Steven Garcia wrings just the right chords from his guitar and nails that No Wave vocal hiccup perfectly, plus there's funk in the bass work of Niki Sevven that will make the flannel set kick up its heels regardless of generational biases. Something Fierce also pays giddy homage to Eighties bands such as the Minute Men. While tracks such as the titular "Don't Be So Cruel" and "Future Punks" could be long-lost Strummer-Jones outtakes, there's also a contemporary vibe and of-the-minute political message on "Afghani Sands" and "Ghosts of Industry." It all adds up to much more than Houston Calling. (Sat., 10pm, Valhalla)

***

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