The current volume of local music is staggering. New Houston bands are born daily, and all too often pass away just as quickly. Rocks Off wants to help you (and ourselves) keep up.
Stay seated smugly at that desk and continue tossing that half-priced Halloween candy (purchased yesterday like the smart adult you are, right?) into your face-hole. There's no need to get up; we're not the boss coming to check on those reports. While the munchkins were out trick-or-treating though, Dig This kept right on gathering local music for our bountiful harvest. Just make sure to wipe those hands before putting on the headphones, and dig in already.
Western Standards: Just over a year ago, Major Miller released his first album under the moniker Western Standards, the well-received Energy Centre. A personal project that's wound up with a pretty hefty online audience, Western Standards is sparse and spiraling, full of ambient landscapes and drone loops. Miller dropped a second album -- Space Is A Place -- in February, and just revealed his third, Unraveling Designs this week. It's more relaxing than a day spa haunted by benevolent ghosts. For now it's digital only, but be on the lookout for a vinyl release next year. Both of the other albums were pressed on vinyl as well.
Eli: Something is in the water in LaPorte. How else do we explain the quality of the local talent that keeps surfacing from the southeast? Dig This ran across Eli at a live show, and were quickly impressed -- they even managed to squeeze eleven people onto the stage and brought them together in dynamic fashion, employing smart arrangements and an assortment of instruments that would've been expected at a Beirut or Anathallo show. It was one of the best uses of actual musical dynamics we've witnessed in town, with big crashing swells offsetting sparse handclaps and spoken vocal pieces. Catch them on Saturday at Super Happy Fun Land.
Other Sites: MySpace
Young Girls: Pete & Charlie Tijerina have been involved in a number of bands -- Springfield Riots, The Factory Party, Roky Moon and BOLT, the list continues. This one's a really smart, hooky and fun blend of indie/garage rock. They put out a seven-inch that should be part of the essential Houston music canon (hmm, maybe we should start working on that), which is still pretty easy to find at the local shops. Also, this is a band that shouldn't be googled at work. After all, that's why we do the digging. We're not certain why, but Young Girls is playing their final show at Mango's on Saturday. See them for the last time, they'll be opening for Davila 666.
ED. UPDATE: This whole last show business confused us and Brubaker, so when we posted the story on the Rocks Off Facebook wall, Young Girls' Pete Tijerina replied: "Wrong!! We are not breaking up, lol we are taking a breaking to record :)"
So there ya go, Houston. Taking a break to make more tunes. Now let these men work.
Dead Mineral: This four-piece formed in 2005, originally billing themselves as Novox. They released a split seven-inch on Four Letter Music with Fired For Walking this year. The Dead Mineral side features their track "Hyper-Vigilance," a melodic, shifting instrumental number. Houston's first and foremost "Ouija Rock" band (note, if anyone wants to hop on that bandwagon, you're likely to be the second) is definitely worth a listen, especially for those who admire Explosions In The Sky but want something a little surlier. To see them live, hit up Rudyard's on Saturday night, when they perform with 500 Megatons of Boogie and Zipperneck.
Other Sites: Bandcamp
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Cast Away: Kids from suburbia tend to start a lot of hardcore bands. Sometimes it almost seems a prerequisite for entering the local scene. Cast Away follows this pattern, blending thrash and hardcore into an angsty, testosteriffic set of tunes that provide ample soundtrack for your next circle pit or headbanging session. The resulting Humble sound is anything but humble. They seem to turn up at Vinyl Junkie fairly often, performing with other locals as well as other heavy bands grinding their way across the South. For now, grab their demo, Cruel Existence for free.
Other Sites: Bandcamp