The Golden Boys

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By John Anderson

The Golden Boys

Jackalope, Wednesday, March 15

Don't tell SXSW, but there's a party going on downtown. If you squint your eyes, you can see the bottle of cheap whiskey being passed around from stranger to stranger. Arms are thrown around the necks of brothers, and the girls are just one of the guys. The Golden Boys are real Texas punk rock. There's no pretention, no etiquette, and there, on the faces of all six nonboys, are huge, stretched-out smiles. Remember when rock & roll used to be fun? Matthew Hoopengardner takes a breath and drops to his knees, mic in hand, doing his best James Brown. John Wesley Coleman's mop top nods with pride, and all three guitars explode in excitement. The stage is wee, tucked into a brightly lit corner, but it might as well be in an Eastside garage. Beers raise and sway to tracks off 2005's Scorpion Stomp #2. "Whisky Bottle" matches the mood of the first night of SXSW 06: everything distorted yet somehow pleasing. As Hoopengardner croons the heartbroken lyrics, "I don't wanna be alone ... with you," the sting echoes against the wall of guitars. Closing anthemic cover "The Plague" by enigmatic songwriter Scott Walker sums it up: "It's all so vague when you meet the plague, and I keep coming, I keep coming back for more." Pass the bottle.

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Golden Boys

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