Damned, Damned, Damned

Chaos in Tejas, forever extreme

To paraphrase the grand finale of the Beatles' Abbey Road (thanks again, Paul McCartney at the Erwin Center), "And in the end, the sounds you take are equal to the effort you make." Austin's final major music festival of the spring, Chaos in Tejas saves some of the very best for last. South by Southwest more or less places out of "fests," but of the others – Old Settler's, Psych Fest, Pachanga, etc. – much of the talent remains in known quantities. Conversely, here at the Chronicle, Chaos pulls us down an editorial wormhole precisely because there's so much that's unknown to us and thus ripe and ready for exploration. From emerging hip-hop (see "Playback," p.41) to young gal druids on their first tour (see "Music Listings," p.62), Chaos in Tejas' exclusive and international curating of vanguard punk and metal begs discovery, immersion, and yes, complete and total mayhem. – Raoul Hernandez


Blank Realm

9pm, Red 7

With Australia undergoing one of its rock renaissances, Blank Realm makes big noise Down Under. The co-ed quartet stands out with a psychedelic post-punk sound not easily codified. Go Easy, the band's third, arrived last year via hip British imprint Fire Records. – Michael Toland

Pinkish Black

9:20pm, Red 7

Fort Worth's Pinkish Black may break down to drums and synthesizers, but that does nothing to tell their story. Singer Daron Beck's keyboard washes would work just as easily on guitar, and the duo's melodic drone has as much in common with doom metal as Suicide. Last year's self-titled LP, Pinkish Black's second, sets up its Century Media debut this fall. – Michael Toland

UV Race

9:50pm, Red 7 (also Friday, 12:45am, Beerland)

Part of the loose collective of anti-professionals surrounding Australia's short-lived but highly influential Eddy Current Suppression Ring, UV Race never lets an uncertain grasp on arrangements or a tenuous hold on melody slow them down. Such cavalier attitudes to conventional notions of musicality – plus lyrics like "I'm a pig/Take a swig/Oink oink oink oink!" – give the cheeky sextet considerable charm. – Michael Toland


10pm, Mohawk

Only last spring, DIIV stakeholder Zachary Cole Smith was playing guitar with go-nowhere indie poppers Beach Fossils. A few singles from a solo side project later, the NYC songwriter suddenly had one of the biggest names in indie. Last year's sunny, disarming Oshin barely qualifies as more than glorified studio jams, but you can't argue with easy endorphins. – Luke Winkie

The Marked Men

10:10pm, 1100 Warehouse (also Friday, 1am, Red 7)

Denton's southern-fried sons of the Buzzcocks support pioneering UK punks the Damned, which means the Damned, great as they are, will have to work that much harder. The Marked Men are notorious for laying audiences to waste with insane energy and tuneful aggression – pure pop acceleration for pogo pit casualties. – Tim Stegall


Mind Spiders

5:45pm, Beerland

With Denton punk legacies the Marked Men getting chaotic Thursday and Friday, guitar sniper Mark Ryan ropes in his diabolical offshoot. "Four-track hiss radiates a sci-fi glow, with double-tracked drums and weirdo-ripping guitar hooks that stick like gum to hot cement" wrote this mag about the quartet's red-hot 2011 debut, followed up last year by another Meltdown. – Raoul Hernandez

Magic Circle

7:10pm, 1100 Warehouse

Magic Circle ties together several Boston bands, including the Rival Mob, No Tolerance, Step Forward, Mind Eraser, and World War 4. The most common of those threads is Chris Corry, who finds the Sabbath doom metal this band proffers a relaxing way to start a bruising weekend of amplifier and cochlea abuse. – Michael Toland

Silent Land Time Machine

8pm, Central Presbyterian Church

Last year's I Am No Longer Alone With Myself and Can Only Artificially Recall the Scary and Beautiful Feeling of Solitude proved a real mouthful, but the music soothes. Stretching six songs and 27 minutes, SLTM's second EP finds the local loner falling in line with fellow chamber-pop instrumentalists Balmorhea. – Chase Hoffberger


11:00pm, Mohawk

Half Austin, half Denton, all violent, Wiccans force-feed hardcore attitude down the throats of medium-speed punk rock with lyrics soaked in occult science fiction and guitar riffs angling for catchiness as much as dissonance. Think of Wiccans as the punk Blue Öyster Cult. – Michael Toland

Bolt Thrower

11:30pm, 1100 Warehouse

German bombers almost leveled Coventry in World War II. No wonder the UK death masters absorbed the darker spirit of their hometown's blitz. Forever honored as John Peel's favorite grinders, Bolt Throwers burn through 27 years of not splitting up and eight since last barrage Those Once Loyal, an album so batteringly exquisite that these hammering leviathans have conscientiously objected to sullying their war record with a lesser attack. – Richard Whittaker



8:15pm, Cheer Up Charlie's

Tampa, Fla., rarely earns distinction as a hotbed of alternative music, but Merchandise has become one of the primary faces of 2013's indie-rock freshmen. In bleary Eighties color and detached Nineties airiness, the trio writes melancholy tunes that warm to the ears. This year's Totale Nite EP plays like an infinite, artificial sunset. – Luke Winkie

Low Culture

10:45pm, Hotel Vegas

Las Cruces, N.M., gutterballs Low Culture ripped a hole in their ratty jeans when the quartet released its debut Screens on the mighty Dirtnap Records in January. The 14-track LP pushes an agenda as fiery as Aussies Royal Headache's, with segues from song to song that will make you want to take up the drums. – Chase Hoffberger


The Rats 9:40pm, Mohawk

A lost chapter in Fred Cole's long musical history, the Rats began as Cole and wife Toody's predecessor to the much-beloved Dead Moon. Inspired by punk rockers like the Ramones, the Coles and various drummers stripped down and jacked up a distinct garage rock sound. The trio's LPs languish in limbo, but this rare appearance outside the Pacific Northwest should change that. – Michael Toland

Satan's Satyrs 11pm, Red 7

These Northern Virginians combine the frenzied aesthetic of Sixties exploitation flicks with the dark abandon of Seventies scuzz-rock and the no-futurism of Eighties L.A. punk. The trio's gut-churning debut LP, Wild Beyond Belief, makes falling from grace sound like a stone blast. From puking Mogen David on shag carpet to acid-induced fits of parakeet-eating, this is the sound of suburban Saturday nights gone awry. – Greg Beets

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More Chaos in Tejas
Playback: Shark Attack!
Playback: Shark Attack!
American Sharks, the future of Austin rock

Kevin Curtin, June 7, 2013

Playback: Chaos in Tejas
Playback: Chaos in Tejas
Chaos in Tejas courts hip-hop, and other tales from the underground punk / metal fest

Kevin Curtin, May 31, 2013


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