Spotlight: The Ends
This is the Ends. Five angry young men who channel the spirit of '77 into the here and now. White-knuckle live shows that resemble riding a rickety Coney Island roller coaster. A band that rose from the ashes of celebrated and not-so-celebrated Austin bands like Teen Cool, the Born Deads, the Commies, and Drag Worm to stare down Red River crowds at least twice a month, and whose 2001 origins were practically a foregone conclusion.
"Alex came over to my house on a Saturday or Sunday morning at like 9am and goes, 'Hey, we're going to practice,' relays guitarist Al G. "I was like, 'Oh, OK.' We went to Music Lab and one of those big sand buckets you're supposed to put cigarettes out in, I filled it up with puke. I thought orange juice was a hangover cure, but it's not. It's really not."
Thus was the beginning of the Ends, vocalist Ian and drummer Venom joining guitarists Alex and Al G., and Monte on bass. Schatzi took Monte away for a while, but he rejoined shortly before the local quintet's debut, Sorry...XOXOXO, came out last summer. On tour, they found out firsthand the high standard to which other towns hold Austin bands.
"Austin bands have a reputation for being really destructive," Monte chuckles.
The Ends chose their moniker because, as per Al G., "they've all been taken," and because it fit with inspirations like the Clash and the Jam. It suits a band that welds the maniacal energy of the New York Dolls and Dead Boys with the keen melodic instincts of Stiff Little Fingers and the Buzzcocks.
"I think [original punk] has more value than the bastardizations over the years of what people think is punk rock," offers Ian.
There's another reason, too.
"I like MDC songs," says Al G., "but they're not as much fun to play."