The Yellow Dogs

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

The Yellow Dogs

Wave, Wednesday, March 17

While revelers in their best Irish stood watching a bagpipe busker do his thing, inside this otherwise anonymous shot bar, the Yellow Dogs out of Tehran, part of the underground rock scene recently documented by journalist Roxanne Saberi in No One Knows About Persian Cats, worked desperately to get their instruments to behave. Then the band did what passport woes prevented them from doing last year and lit into some fierce Stooge-influenced, decidedly lo-fi rock & roll. The songs ran the gamut from hangover blues to "Koskhol," which included screams of "suicide bomber!" It's worth noting that these shaggy lads – lean Obash on vocals, Looloosh on guitar and synth, the Ramones-a-like bassist Koory, and antic Zina on drums – defy the law by playing rock in their own country. With grooving tracks such as "Sex Machine" (funky, but nothing like the James Brown version), the band managed to get the crowd to move their feet, but flagging energy and a muddled monitor mix kept everything from coalescing into something more than another routine group of talented guys with guitars. Still, these travelers clearly relished the chance to dial in Americans to the concerns of their homeland. "See you on the streets of Austin," finished Obash.

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