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
Queen of Reggaeton, Martha Rodríguez traverses the Latin American market riding femme fatale hustles and braggadocio atop bachata rhythms and jigsawed synths. Waving her native Puerto Rican flag, she drops bars with a plaintive, commanding growl on platinum triptych Diva, Flashback, and Sentimiento. The Grammy-nominated singer smashes patriarchy with a mic in jagged singles “In the Zone,” and “La Vida Es Asi.”– Alejandra Ramirez
Having wowed Austin Psych Fest 2014, Kikagaku Moyo returns bearing transcendence. Released on Guruguru Brain, the slyly named label the Tokyo quintet set up to spotlight East Asian talent, Stone Garden channels acid folk, motorik, and space rock into a psychedelic rush perfect for a Masonic temple. Local psychsters and frequent showmates Soft Healer and Hidden Ritual warp reality first.– Michael Toland
You’d be forgiven mistaking this for 1984, when Meat Puppets issued acid-damaged country on II (“Plateau,” “Lake of Fire”), while SST labelmates the Minutemen – featuring bass mensch Mike Watt – econo-jammed their landmark Double Nickels on the Dime across America. Principals for both acts load into Barracuda this weekend in support of still-vital current guises.– Tim Stegall