SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., March 14, 2008
Faceless WerewolvesBeauty Bar, Wednesday, March 12
It was one of those nights for the Faceless Werewolves: a sparsely attended showcase soldiered through rather than savored. Nevertheless, the bassless Austin blues-infused tribal punk trio remained game even when guitarist Kelsey Wickliffe lost amp power midset. At least the scenery was spot on. With the Beauty Bar as backdrop, the Werewolves looked like the kind of band John Waters would cast in a remake of Female Trouble. On another stage or another night, a skronk-addled glam-rocker like "That Beast" would've had fists in the air instead of scratching chins. Through it all, drummer/vocalist Erica Barton was the band's driving force. Pounding away with barely controlled abandon, she resembled a thundering blond tumbleweed. Despite a reserved between-song speaking voice, Barton sings with the squeaky growl of an angry kid sister who's about to punch you out after too much whiskey. Her most deliciously unhinged number was "Couldn't Believe It Blues," from the newly-released Pardon Me, Are Those Your Claws On My Back? The guy/girl low roar of "Got Me Howlin'" also got heads bobbing as the Werewolves channeled the darkest recesses of the X/Cramps canon. Even if they never quite caught fire, they never stopped smoldering, either.