The Austin Chronicle

Free Week Live Shots

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, January 13, 2012, Music

Cruddy, Nazi Gold, Naw Dude, the Best

29th Street Ballroom, Jan. 5

Spiderhouse's ballroom has come a long way from its days as a used video annex. A sweet patio to match the small corner stage near the bar inside, the venue stars a handsome main stage that crosses the Continental Club's vintage speakeasy with a junior high school gymnasium – a private junior high school gymnasium. Both stages were in use during a four-hour Free Week siege, six local DIY acts tearing through 20-minute sets with a dizzying bombardment of old and new. Gospel Truth barked first, a drone/drang fourpiece with a Flying V guitarist and frontman alternating among keyboards, alto sax, and harmonica, though the band's best asset may have been Red River MVP Orville Bateman Neeley III front and center in the audience. The Best, Neeley's new band, followed Naw Dude's front room seizure of Scratch Acid-tinged hardcore and plugged its own Flying V into the quartet's chunky garage rock. Nazi Gold, driven by beatmaster Thor Harris, anchored mile-high psych with a minimalist pulse and neo-industrial percussion, the trio deliberately halting yet fluid. Cruddy rode Alison Goodman's time tattoos with jagged bursts of hardcore that gathered intensity and airplane volume to match the trio's late 2011 debut LP, Negative World. That left nominal headliners the Energy a dwindling crowd, the nondescript rockers powered by a drummer with "Rock N Roll Nightmare" emblazoned across his bare chest.

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