SXSW Records

Phases and Stages


Fifty Reasons to Explode (Mammoth) Schatzi's debut full-length is a righteous bit of snotty pop-punk that's almost as edgy as Green Day's early commercial period. The adopted Austinites (via Oklahoma) released their EP Death of the Alphabet in late 2000, and saw it get heavy play on local alt-rock frequency KROX, which provided the needed momentum for the LP. The quartet, vocalist/guitarists Chris Kyle and Monte Williams, bassist Marc Fort, and drummer Mark Ford explode 50 different ways with smiling harmonies and crunchy chords, creating super-tight melodies that, despite the sloppiness implied by their chosen genre, exude exacting professionalism without appearing the least bit calculated or engineered. There's not a weak link in this boppy effort, with the exception of "Gladys," which is a damn fine song that rivals any of the crap that's on the Top 40 right now; it's just not as strong as the rest of the album. High points include "Undergrowth" and the apocalyptic "Guitars Vs. Humans," which as the title suggests, pits the boys in the band against their instruments ("I'm killing a guitar slowly"). Even with all that, the real kicker is the hidden track, a "dance" remix of the opening track, "Indivisible." It's hilarious and infectious, and the perfect ending to a perfectly caffeinated romp through the pop jungle. (Thursday, March 14, Emo's, midnight)


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