Odd that a band as well-established as Brownout needs to reintroduce itself. And yet, after three years and two albums masquerading as heavy metal gods, a two-night stint at Antone’s celebrating new EP Over the Covers symbolizes a rebirth for the local Latin funk crew.
“We didn’t expect to do the Brown Sabbath thing for years,” explains guitarist Adrian Quesada. “It got to a point where we thought we needed to come back to doing our own music. It’s impossible to ignore the fact that we did Black Sabbath music for years, so for us it was almost rebooting as a band and assessing where we are post-Sabbath, and how that influenced us.
“Trying to find our voice again as a band.”
While the new EP marks a return to form, it’s clear the Sabbath experience left an indelible impact on the ninepiece. Funk riffs blister a more sinister edge, guitars are muddied by an extra dose of distortion, and – for the first time – Brownout boasts a lead vocalist. Alex Marrero, the “Mexican Ozzy Osbourne” of Brown Sabbath, has officially entered the fold.
“Alex was one of the biggest parts of Brown Sabbath,” Quesada affirms. “A lot of times on tour we would open up for ourselves with a Brownout set, so he would be onstage already and it was impossible to ignore the fact that he could actually sing compared to the rest of us. So we were like, ‘Hey, you might as well sing some of these songs.’
“Then it turned into writing some songs together and evolved from there.
“It’s not like we don’t want to ever do it again or anything like that,” says Quesada of the Sabbath material. “But to be honest, the novelty was starting to wear off and it didn’t feel as rewarding as playing our own music.”– Thomas Fawcett
In 1984, Bash & Pop’s Tommy Stinson was teenage bassist in the Replacements, who unleashed that year’s Let It Be. Given that the Meat Puppets and Mike Watt precede B&P at Barracuda the night before, it’s a flashback Eighties weekend there. Stinson’s killer new LP Anything Could Happen provides the soundtrack Saturday.– Tim Stegall
Austin’s feral garage-blues duo can’t lay a bad foot down. Carley Wolf floors fuzzbox, mate Jonny Wolf picks up the sticks, and together they could pound out 15 versions of “My Yiddishe Momme” and every last one would rock like the ghost of Gene Vincent fronting vintage Motörhead. Instead, they’ve just curb-stomped the sophomore jinx with blues-n-’billy-drenched Texas Platinum on Germany’s Hound Gawd Records.– Tim Stegall
Hyper-prolific fuzz king Segall shows no signs of deceleration on his second eponymous and ninth solo album overall. Equally compelling in the realms of high concept or street squall, the Californian’s tuneful, glam-sodden confections like “Freedom” combine gawk-worthy intensity with well-honed songwriting instincts. Steve Albini production and studio backing by guitarist Emmett Kelly, drummer Charles Moothart, and Mikal Cronin propels Segall’s vision skyward. Local garage-psych merchants the Zoltars bat first.– Greg Beets