The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Live Shots

Music Showcase

Reviewed by Michael Bertin, March 15, 2002, Music


The District Bar & Grill, Friday 15 This probably only matters because time is at a premium during SXSW, but when you're done setting up and sound checking at quarter 'til and then you wait almost until quarter after to hit the stage, that's bad. What's worse, the only discernable change was frontman Chopper's shirt. Fine, but if you're gonna take half an hour to put on a shirt with "Dick" in 12-inch letters across the front, then you better fucking rock my ass off. No dice. Even with the serious riffage, the local band was flat. Actually, flat is generous. It was straight-up boring. That's not just me, as by the end of the third song, "Gold Rush," a good number of the boys in the crowd were checking the TV sets for the score of Texas' NCAA tournament game, as the packed room thinned enough to make it comfortable inside. It wasn't a mass exodus or anything, but it was noticeable. And focusing on the rhythm section, two words kept coming to mind: the Knack. It probably doesn't help that Chopper bears a slight resemblance to Doug Fieger, but man, the bottom end felt like "My Sharona" on almost every song in the first half of the set. After the ode to mall-dom "Urbia" from their indie debut Charmed, they actually heated up noticeably. And for the closer, "Rock & Roll Asshole," Kissinger had finally knocked it up a notch. With that song, the crowd finally got a taste of the ass-kicking it so dearly craved and needed. Too late. Should have started like you finished.

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