The Austin Chronicle

Free Week Live Shots

Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, January 10, 2014, Music

OBN III's, Brain Attack, Pharoahs

Beerland, January 3

Free Week freeloaders packed the floor of Red River blue-collar watering hole Beerland, except for a small semicircle in front of the ground level stage, where Brain Attack's dual lead screamers took residence. Strangely, the joint smelled like a Middle Eastern corner store with sandalwood incense wafting while the local hardcore quintet dutifully blasted through tight, 90-second beatdowns, establishing a high level of aggression that lingered until Pharaohs took the stage and cleared it like stale smoke in a plastic bong. The greasy-haired locals' chorus-heavy oldies rumble, reminiscent of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend," was so steeped in rock & roll classicism that they sang, "You're the prettiest girl that I ever did know, and it's easy to see why I love you so" with straight faces and it worked. Florida's Gino & the Goons followed, riling the increasingly wasted crowd with easily sung hooks like "Repeat It," but when Austin's OBN III's detonated their garage-punk sonic boom, ignited by Jason Smith's terrorizing Rickenbacker leads and Marley Jones' cocaine beat drumming, everything else we'd heard that night was rendered gentle in comparison. Opening with live favorite "People Are Afraid," wild frontman Orville Neeley showed no respect for anything except his microphone, and even that he thoroughly abused: strangling the cable, punching it into the air, and throwing it down to hang from the rafters.

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