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Foreign Mothers, the Dead Space, Horse + Donkey, Ghetto Ghouls, Feral Future

Foreign Mothers, The Dead Space, Horse + Donkey, Ghetto Ghouls, and Feral Future

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Jan. 11, 2013

Foreign Mothers' Kana Harris
Foreign Mothers' Kana Harris
Photo by Shelley Hiam

Foreign Mothers, the Dead Space, Horse + Donkey, Ghetto Ghouls, Feral Future

Beerland, Jan. 3

Ninety minutes prior to the witching hour last Thursday, Austin registered a damp 45 degrees. Beerland only heated up – from the first act on to the fifth band off. Feral Future, initially atonal and amelodic in its proto-proggy post-punk, gained density and ferocity fast. "This is another song about not giving a fuck," noted the three-quarters female quartet's lead banshee Arielle Sonnenschein. That became the evening's theme. "We're Ghetto Ghouls," mumbled the following band's guitarist/screamer. "Have fun. Go fuck yourselves." Clanging, banging, the trio came on like a Come On Pilgrim-era Pixies, erupting with said announcer's beer bottle slide ejaculation on "Living Alone." As the rhythm section rotated, his chainsaw/lawnmower riffs gnawed and gnashed. Seventeen minutes and they were done. Once one of the leading lights of the local scene, Horse + Donkey misses former trio leader Jaime Zuverza, who helped populate the two-thirds-full Beerland, but with Ryan Camarillo leading Luis Martinez Jr. (drums) and Ollie Valdez (bass), the threesome's dark wave neo-surf still spikes waves of skittering pointillism. A personal discovery and thus Free Week's ultimate raison d'etre, the Dead Space took Horse + Donkey's aqua pulse and jolted it into a driving funnel of spook rock – dark, powerful, confident – like something English, Eighties. Foreign Mothers, also Gang of Four-ish, pounded out its 2012 LP, Duh, with no-frills femininity, at one point singing about being caught without a tampon. "Since that's what girl bands sing about," mocked guitarist/singer Kana Harris. (Bassist/co-vocalist Stephanie Mueller also helps hold down Feral Future.) Girl band, yes: moody, hacking, siren-esque. Wicked. At 2am, when they were done, the sleet began.


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