Dumptruck

Acts Playing South by Southwest

SXSW Records

Dumptruck

Lemmings Travel to the Sea

(Devil in the Woods)

After a long period of down time when they didn't release any music at all, Austin's Dumptruck is now prolific, having released two LPs in the span of two years. Not only that, their latest, Lemmings Travel to the Sea, is a 2-CD set. Not to overlook the new material on Lemmings, but the real attraction for longtime fans must be the live CD. It's more than 75 minutes of music recorded during two different shows at CBGB in New York City, one from 1986, the other from '88. A spectacular set of snapshots from those days when the band included Kirk Swan and later Kevin Salem, Lemmings demonstrates both the band's power and crafty songwriting ability back in the days before legal hassles ground them to a halt. For its part, the studio disc is another fine slab of crunchy guitar rock from the now-local band, as songwriter and group mainstay Seth Tiven continues to explore heartfelt emotions with a steely eye, while backing them with impassioned melodies and just enough riffage to provide a resounding punch. Listening to both back-to-back, one notices that the band's modus operandi hasn't drifted too much from the beginning. Tiven & Co. blast away on tunes like "Stars Grow Colder," "This Was a House," and "Faithless," much like they did in the early days, with bits of organ and programmed loops that keep the sound fresh. (Thursday, March 15, Opal Divine's Freehouse, midnight)

***.5

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