Best Answer To Old Skull

Three Hours' Sleep

Three Hours' Sleep members are 11 years old (well, one's 12), but the promise inherent in preadolescence isn't what makes them so great. They keep time and stay in tune better than you'd think, but that's not it either: They're competent, but not prodigies. And novelty value, pshaw. No, what made these old souls' alterna-rock debut at Gaby 'n' Mo's last April so riveting is this: They've got that introverted/sincere rock star thing down cold already. Casual little Thurstons all, they play a crowd like an 8-pound bass, jump up and down with sheer joy, add a load of unironic windmill-type flourishes, then suddenly require themselves to concentrate intently on hitting an effects pedal or a note. They also stick around to honor their ancestors (all four flailing wildly during headliner Lord Douglas Phillips' set later that night) and to ask the nearest mom figure for help finding their guitar cases. They've got a couple of years on Wisconsin's late-Eighties hardcore 9-year-olds, but then Austin's always been nirvana for late-bloomers.

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