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Finally, A Good Band from Austin, He Said She Said, Last Summer

Cunto!, the Blind Pets, and Octopus Rex

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., May 17, 2013

Cunto!

Finally, a Good Band From Austin
7 & 7 Is

A 7-inch single should be epic. Moby Dick condensed to haiku, Apocalypse Now as a six-second video. The Vine of vinyl. Austin punk-grass quintet Cunto! delivers a Paul Bunyan-like boot heel clack on its four-song debut, Chronicle newsman Kevin Curtin's rolling mandolin crystallizing right up front on acoustic hollers and Union Hall choruses ("Well I'm blue collar, you're white collar/And I'm gonna fuck your Mormon daughter"). Tom Waitsian lurches in "Dig Up My Bones" and "Teddy" rollick & roll on safe-cracker gray vinyl into the happy blasphemy of "Jerk Me Off in My Grandma's Coffin," its title the tamest line in the tune. Cunning grunts, this lot.

The Blind Pets

He Said She Said (Pau Wau)
7 & 7 Is

Thick, meaty brisket-rock pulls off the bone with mouthwatering sonic clarity on the Blind Pets' petroleum-black fist bump. The raucous Austin trio chugs like a muscle car on the under-two-minute A-side "He Said," but it's frontman Josh Logan's perfectly executed Seventies high note at the beginning of the chorus that gives the song its hook, some alternate Ace Frehley hiccup with horns held high. The flipside, "Everybodies," bristles a sun-fried dirge, marching like a Dixie anthem until it slides briefly into third gear. After three LPs, this pleasing splat preps a fourth. (Release party: Friday, May 17, at Blackheart, with American Sharks, DJ Lord Soul.)

Octopus Rex

Last Summer (Missouri Pacific)
7 & 7 Is

Detroit-loving garage rock (Stooges/MC5) spines the Southern California bromance bassline of opener "Last Summer," its surf-inflected mosh with ambience perfect for a Texan June just up ahead. B-side opener "Party at the Graveyard" bounces straight Ramones (Groovie Ghoulies?), while "Russian Roulette" again sprinkles Chili Peppers on an aggro/stoner brawn more akin to Queens of the Stone Age. This power trio's three-song spin signals Summer all right. Pass me some beach, Rex.

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