The Motards

Texas RePlatters

Phases and Stages

The Motards

Stardom (Mortville) No band epitomized the raging, fuck-all ethos of mid-Nineties Austin garage punk better than the Motards. They aimed low, but struck hard, liberating pent-up mammalian impulses from Texas to Tokyo. Stardom is an odds-'n'-sods collection of 22 singles, comp tracks, B-sides, and other rarities from the local quintet's surprisingly prolific recording career. The disc opens with the Motards' 1993 debut 45, a train wreck of a recording that made the Estrus catalog sound meticulous by comparison. "I'm a Criminal" and "My Love Is Bad" land precariously close to the frothing, contrarian essence of punk, splashing all comers with a sloppy cocktail of beer and bile. The primitive 1994 recording of "Why Am I Even Here?" approximates the sensation of passing out under Suzie Bishop's snare drum, while supremely combative vocalist John Motard kicks out the song's rhythm on your shins. "Unhappy" is a hard-core shiv delivered in a yapping, Dee Dee Ramone-style vocal, while "Nothing Ever Changes" exhibits a murky blues pedigree recalling Poison 13. Paying homage to the Dwarves with a dive-bomb cover of "Drug Store" makes perfect sense, and the instrumental "Theme (From the Film Vampires with Rabies)" succeeds with an addictive, ghoulish riff that's equally obvious. What ultimately delineated the Motards from all those contemporaneously mining the same vein was their ability to amplify the obvious into a cathartic series of collective petits morts. While Stardom can't be expected to best the band's legendary live prowess, it goes a long way toward explaining what the fuss was all about.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 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  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Thunderosa
Ride the Snake (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, April 19, 2019

Texas Platters
Dogs & Diamonds
Last Free Exit (Record Review)

Tim Stegall, April 19, 2019

More by Greg Beets
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
Best Live Music Performances of 2018
The bands and venues that kept our critics on their feet

Dec. 28, 2018

Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
Our Music Critics Pick Their Top 10 Austin Albums of 2018
80 local picks from Molly Burch to Brownout

Dec. 28, 2018

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
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

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

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