Spotlight: The Hard Feelings

Beerland, 9pm

Spotlight: The Hard Feelings

"It's hard to get noticed when people can't write about your clothes," laments Hard Feelings guitarist John Schooley. He's talking about bands who aren't striving to be clever, ironic, sardonic, self-conscious, or smart-alecky. "Or when people can't write about a brother and sister being in the band, or having a 6-foot blond female bass player who shoots fire out of her mouth."

Instead, Austin's Hard Feelings let fly with a blast of shoutable R&B rock that should bring a shake to the most jaded booty. Schooley (ex-Revelators) fell in with drummer Trey Robles (ex-Young Losers, Distractors) some three years ago, after Schooley moved to Austin at producer Mike Mariconda's suggestion. The two went through bass players until hooking up with erstwhile Deadite Mike Poppitt.

2000 saw the release of their self-titled debut on Sympathy for the Record Industry, followed by a couple of tours of the West Coast and Midwest. Their next release is right around the corner, April 2, a cooperative effort on Beerland owner Randall Stockton's fledging Beerland label. Meanwhile, Aussie label Dropkick is pressing the release on vinyl for down-under distribution. The boys also have a month or so booked in Europe after the CD's release.

"This Belgian guy booked my girlfriend's band, the Regrettes, for over there," notes Schooley, "so we hooked it up through him."

The band's sound should be familiar to fans of Crypt band the Revelators: bluesy punk-rawk, raw and nervy, with slashing slide guitar in abundance and nary a trace of pretense or affectation to be found. The new release's tentative title? Think back to Schooley's quote at the beginning of this piece: You Won't Like It 'Cause It's Rock & Roll.

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