Areola 51/The Sword
Room 710, July 23/July 24
Watching Oh, Beast! blast out tentacles of weird, pissed-off post-punk hemorrhaging on Saturday night was like watching a rainbow-colored clown car drive off a cliff and into the mouth of an active volcano. And I mean that in a good way. Jerking out songs from their most recent EP as well as a terrific cover of Tubeway Army's "Listen to the Sirens," the local trio was the perfect kick in the crotch. The Texas Biscuit Bombs, featuring Randy "Biscuit" Turner of Austin's legendary Big Boys, ramped the wild and wooly quotient down a bit. Dressed in red long johns, a black fringe vest, and a straw cowboy hat, Biscuit promised, "We're going to give you a piece of glitter with shit on it." That's about right. For their debut show, the quartet delivered spirited covers of the Ramones' "Beat on the Brat," the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant," and the Spencer Davis Group's "I'm a Man," as well as a few from their trad-punk lineage. "You're great," Turner said. "I want to hug and fuck you all." Naugahyde Dream Sequence, comprised of Beast's Josh Chalmers and JD Fanning plus Areola pounder Max Brody backing Biscuit, debuted their own endeavor as well, with a one-song Teutonic haze. Areola 51, featuring Honky's blue holler man Jeff Pinkus, former Scratch Acid guitarist Brett Bradford, and drummer Brody, was loud. Like, pound your head on the pavement loud. Bradford's limbo-stick axe torture met Pinkus' flying-V rumble while Brody attacked his kit like it was on fire. Another Austin act that needs to be wheeled out of its government hangar more often. On Sunday, the Lord's day, the Sword shredded as usual. If Oh! Beast was a car crashing into a volcano, the Sword was like being shot into space with two rabid monkeys. Every metallic note from the ATX combine cracked with perfect intensity. All four members engage in a sort of sonic face-off with their instruments, and the result is music that can turn any lucid, progressive person into a Hessian. Austin's finally unearthed a Mastodon.