SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
by Shelley Hiam


Red 7, Thursday, March 14

Local trio Brazos broke a guitar string early in the second song, setting a precedent not for the band's greenness, but rather its tenacity and wholly enveloping performance. Lead singer and guitarist Martin Crane remarked, "I never break a string," while retuning his guitar, but that didn't break the band's stride. Each member seemed lost in their own world, playing at once as separate, serious entities, and a swirling, lovely, cohesive unit. A leader on his toes the entire time, the long-haired bassist shaking his mane in a persistent thump, and an energetic, focused drummer tapping out his beat signaled that after a extended hiatus, they're back with a vengeance. While the set relied on cuts from 2009's Phosphorescent Blues, the last two tunes glimpsed at upcoming May 28 release Saltwater. "Gunk" tapped Brazos' usual indie-pomp, while "Charm," which already has a music video, took a poppier spin on the band's Neutral Milk Hotel influence.

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