Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Record Reviews



On their fourth full-length, one of Austin's long-underappreciated bar bands have finally hit upon the right formula: No singing. "This group of tunes was put together for the University of Texas Drama Dept.'s mainstage production of Baltimore Waltz," it says in the bare-bones liner notes, and if the 20 short instrumentals herein play like a classroom exercise in versatility and evocation, it doesn't stop Waltzes from being Peglegasus' most cohesive release to date. With most numbers clocking in under three minutes, and many of those merely serving as brief interludes, Waltzes whirls through a myriad of moods that often resemble a Ry Cooder soundtrack in their old-timey ambiguity. There are also a few waltzes. From austere opener "The Waltz" and its Munsters-esque segue "Spy Dancer" to the nearly seven minutes of clickety-clack delicacy of "E.K. Ross" and rejoining "Waltz Jr.," Waltzes bounces with banjo ("Dance de la Pissoir"), sways with the saw ("A Third Man"), and lilts with accordion ("Somewhere in France"). Flamenco dancing ("Explanation"), echoing loop de loops ("Ferris Wheel"), and drum machine-gun fire ("Beim Disco"), all fall in step to Waltzes' internal metronome and suspend time like films from the foreign vanguard. Not bad for a quartet that likes to drink beer and play Who covers. (Thursday, March 15, Room 710, 9pm)


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