the Happen-Ins, Damage Pants, Cause for Applause, and Gospel Truth

Back in wax

Texas Platters

To borrow a line from Jack White's Raconteurs, the Happen-Ins are consolers of the lonely. The local quartet's self-titled debut, currently making the rounds on vinyl, shackles the roots flair of singer/guitarist Sean Faires' short-lived Dedringers (the pedal-steel-accented "You've Been Bad" and "Don't Look Back") with the unabashed, Rolling Stones swagger of guitarist Ricky Ray Jackson's Lomita ("Do It," "Cross Your Heart"). The resulting maximum fuzz R&B unbuttons easier than pearl snaps in the steel glow of "Don't Look Back," slow Deep City soul of "Never Said," and slide-guitar-spurred dustup "Die." Still rough and needing more Keith Richards to balance out this Beggars Banquet, the Happen-Ins are off to a promising start. Austin's Damage Pants, likewise, bulldozes through its eponymous wax LP, released by Bombay Cove, complete with a free MP3 download. The two-man wrecking crew mines the middle rubble between Kyuss' stoner blues and the rhythmic gyration of Death From Above 1979, except without the sleazy sexiness inherent in both. Drummer/vocalist Robert Davis' post-hardcore thrashing locks in with Kyle Smith's sledgehammer grooves like a cage match. The latter opens on guitar ("Empty or Not," the doom-laden "We Were Left") but does more damage on bass, especially on "The Hands of Paolo Rocco" and "Ballad," which is anything but. The inaugural, vinyl-only pressing from Austin's Bicentennial Baby Records pairs locals Cause for Applause with Gospel Truth for what sounds like a double bill at late music venue the Blue Flamingo – drunken, 1990s noise-rock with a confrontational streak. Cause for Applause features a former member of '68 Comeback and Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey Birds, which, along with the staggered pub-blues of Beasts of Bourbon, is solid framework for these six skuzzy tunes. Bassist David Lloyd Wofford contorts his vocals with Hank Williams' yelp and David Yow's screech, bemoaning in "More, More More": "I'd like to get up. Which way is up?" On the flip side, Gospel Truth testifies to the Touch & Go legacy (Mule, the Jesus Lizard, Laughing Hyenas), smearing organ and jarring saxophone to its intense, disorienting rockabilly berserk. Sounds like a hell-bent tent revival.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More the Happen-Ins
Texas Platters
The Happen-Ins
Glamour Shots (Record Review)

Michael Toland, May 22, 2015

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Reddening West
Deltas (Record Review)

Hannah Wisterman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Aaron Stephens
Focus (Record Review)

Clara Wang, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Austin Powell
Record Review: The Young
Record Review: The Young

Aug. 22, 2014

Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Pickathon Polishes Off No. 16
Oregon fest boasts IPAs, ATXs, camping, and sustainability

Aug. 4, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

the Happen-Ins, Damage Pants, Cause for Applause, Gospel Truth

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle