Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010 (Matador)
Austin 2010: Sounds both apocalyptic and Olympic, doesn't it? Our city's in an awkward place, on the long walk between skyward progress and preserving the past. Perhaps sensing a quake before it happens, Matador Records co-owner and local dweller Gerard Cosloy knows there's no better time than the present. Casual Victim Pile, as he stresses in the liner notes, isn't meant to be a definitive cultural document, but rather the findings of many archaeological digs along Red River over the last couple years. Entering the thunderdome are 17 locals and a couple Denton groups of the Beerland variety, heavy on decades of punk-drunk love. You hear ghosts of Matador (and Homestead) records past here, like Tre Orsi's Dinosaur Jr.-ish "The Engineer," Follow That Bird!'s tightly wound "The Ghosts That Wake You," or straight-up Sonic Youth paean "Hoboken Snow," by Kingdom of Suicide Lovers. New Matador roster boys Harlem reprise "Beautiful & Very Smart" from last year's Free Drugs, and Dikes of Holland's "Little City Girl" demands a full-length album from them this year. Then there's the three-minutes-or-less contingent: the blackout flail of the Stuffies' "No One's Gonna Miss You" and Wild America's "Drink It Dry" are pure Austin, while the No No No Hopes' "Nobody's Fool" and Teeners' (R.I.P.) "Nazis on Film" could be Raul's-era roilers. There's not a dud in the Pile.