DJ Under Warranty/photos by Brigitte B. Zabak
Friday night, despite stiff competition from several other local shows (Spain Colored Orange, Fitzgerald's "Leave Your Genre at the Door" night), a nice-size crowd gathered at Walter’s on Washington for Sharks and Sailors' CD release. People began to trickle in fairly early for a weekend show, and lingered inside while DJ Under Warranty - aka the Skyline Network's adr - did his thing. There was a good energy in the room while fans, new and old, waited eagerly for the night’s festivities to begin.
The Jonx, still not turning red
And begin it did with one of Houston's hardest-working bands. The Jonx has been around for several years now, and their sound has evolved tremendously. The jarring, serrated lines they create are unbelievably original. There are moments where you find yourself grasping to compare them to a familiar band – to label or encapsulate their music in a way that helps it make more sense, but that just can’t be done.
Wild Moccasins Zahira Gutierrez, Cody Swann and Andrew Lee came out to enjoy the show.
One of the eveining's most enjoyable songs, “Escape,” was full-bodied and rich, with echoing drums and ambient guitar strums. The few new songs they played were just a tiny nibble of what is yet to come from a trio that keeps pushing themselves to make better music at every turn.
Ume, a stunner in every sense of the word
Up next was Austin-based Ume with another stunning set. Lauren Larson’s presence and precision as a guitarist is mesmerizing. The trio performed with a roaring intensity, and the audience loved every rumble. It's Larson’s robust vocals paired with the boom of husband Eric Larson’s bass and the rapid release of Jeff Barrera’s drums that makes Ume work so well.
Ready for action: Friday's crowd awaits Sharks and Sailors.
By this time, the crowd was sweaty and enthusiastic for the headliners, Sharks and Sailors. The trio began its set with a strong performance of “Metes and Bounds” and stormed through song after song leaving nothing but reverb behind. The Sailors' live version of “Cliffs” is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated moments of its shows, as well it should: The melancholy wail of Michael Rollin’s guitar set against Melissa Lonchambon’s hushed voice and Phil Woodward’s subdued drumming is goosebump-inducing.
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The Rule of Three: S&S delivered a goosebump-inducing set.
Each one of these bands brought something unique to the table, and left the appreciative audience well-schooled in the fine art of Texas indie rock. - Brigitte B. Zabak