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SXSW Live Shots
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Back Room, Thursday 14 While not necessarily known for their slow ballads, Austin's metal-dipped cinderblock unit Ünloco came out of the gates guns drawn, opening with a cracking rocker and keeping the battleship afloat through their very neat 40-minute showcase. They made the most of it with their intense, directed delivery, and the stage presence of System of a Down, with whom they've shared the stage. Still, some of Ünloco's distinguishing subtlety was submerged under needless volume. Even so, one of the first tunes sprouted human pogo sticks in front of the stage. "Useless," opener from their Maverick debut Healing kept the momentum up, even if most of the moderately sized crowd never heard the song before. Some of Ünloco's original compositions possess the melodic sense of Metallica, even if the flanged guitar became overly ubiquitous at times. The lead vocalist thanked the crowd for "letting us playing our fucking new shit," which implied that this local quartet is well versed in Nirvana. In fact, the new material spawned mosh pits dangerously close to the steel supporting beams of the Back Room, a South Austin venue where shaved heads and mullets can hang out together. Only time will tell if Ünloco's showcase was worth their time, but it was clear proof that Austin's metal mise en scène is indeed deep.

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