Live Shot

Halley (Photo By Gary Miller)


Mercury, July 17 Thursday night was Halley's grand arrival, and it was fit for the star charts. The local fivepiece's set had all the signs of a breakthrough, a welcoming into the upper echelon of Austin bands. A diverse sonic barrage saturated everything they did, creating an atmosphere that was elegant to explosive and all points in between. The twin brothers Ankeney, William and Gary, on effected guitar and keyboards/laptop respectively, pumped out carnivalesque jigs, Grandaddy-like silicon chirps, and near the end of the evening, a beautiful Spiritualized-style phased drone. Piling on waves of theremin and massive walls of noise, eventually their set reached critical mass. From the Negative Zone emerged frontman Trace Faulkner and a shimmering cover of Spiritualized's feel-good anthem "Lay Back in the Sun." There was even a dual trombone section on hand for the Flaming Lips-goes-Mardi Gras "Adventures of Georgie and the Robbers." A generous heaping of new material found Faulkner and drummer Scott Oliphant in a Trail of Dead-style tradeoff. A blending of new, more aggressively rhythmic pieces with the panoramic magnificence of last year's debut, Forget the Leaves, Autumn Will Change Us, has led to the full blossoming of a band that's already proven they can make a killer album. Similarly accomplished are openers My Education, a local chamber rock septet with the emphasis on rock. Their sound is a series of ripples, each moving individually but coming together as one majestic tidal wave. Together with other valiant Austin cosmonauts like Winslow and Experimental Aircraft, these bands make up a top-notch local scene that could fill out one hell of a label roster. On the same wavelength is S.F.'s Sciflyer, who played between My Education and Halley, authoring a tightly wound set of deep, robust basslines and hypnotic, shifting textures. Flying a flag for Swervedriver's criminally underrated debut, Raise, Sciflyer offered an exquisite icing on the cake of Halley's coming-out party.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Michael Chamy
Texas Platters
Palaxy Tracks
Twelve Rooms (Record Review)

Sept. 16, 2005

Texas Platters
Feathers From the Wing EP (Record Review)

Aug. 12, 2005


My Education, Halley, Sciflyer

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle