SXSW Records

Phases and Stages


This Will Undoubtedly Come Out Wrong At first glance, it's tempting to cite mid-Nineties staples Letters to Cleo and Eve's Plum as primary influences on Cruiserweight's sweet power pop. A closer listen reveals that the Austin quartet's hefty punch is more musically aligned with such late-Seventies bands as X-Ray Spex. Indeed, lead singer Stella Maxwell's soprano has more in common with Poly Stryrene's frenetic vocals than those MTV staples. Siblings Stella, Urny, and Yogi Maxwell came from Terrell, Texas to attend UT, joining with bassist Dave Hawkins once they got here, so it's no surprise they exude that bright, college rock sensibility. What distinguishes Cruiserweight and their eight-song debut from the standard MTV band is a deeper regard for content, courtesy of Stella's thoughtful lyrics, as related in songs such as "Cautionary Tale." The punky bounce of "I'm Back" and "All This Negativity" comes from songwriters Urny and Yogi, but the credit is given to the whole band. Stella Maxwell may not be covering "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" anytime soon, but Cruiserweight's tireless energy is empowering and substantial, and suggests they'll thrive long after their lightweight peers. (Wednesday, March 13, Emo's Jr., 8pm)


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