Of all the bands to emerge out of the Houston music puppy mill this year, none has been as steadfastly working class and punk rock as the American Heist. Rocks Off first spied the band opening up for Florida's Fake Problems in May. At the time they were still called Born Anchor, but a Seattle-area by the name of Born Anchors balked and the band soon changed their moniker to the American Heist. Tonight the band opens up for Boston's Street Dogs over at Walter's On Washington. The show is also a toy drive for Toys For Tots, the Marine Corps charity that helps make Christmas all that more brighter for children who are less fortunate. The Street Dogs will be collecting unwrapped toys at their merch booth before and after the show. Playing an intense and rollicking style of booze-fueled Springsteen-esque street-punk, the four-piece Heist is lead by singer Tim Blackout, whose gravelly howl echoes that of Mike Ness and Rancid's Lars Frederiksen. We also hear a helluva lot of old favorites Hot Water Music in the band's live work. It was Heist's harmonica-kissed military ballad ".22" that made our jaws drop and take notice of the band back in May and they haven't stopped thrilling us since.
The band has been playing several one-off shows lately here in town and just lined up a few gigs in Austin, including one with that city's own New Disaster. Heist also just released a split seven-inch with the Hell City Kings, with the band contributing "Tequila" and "Boys" to their side of the split. As part of our ongoing "Listology" column, we asked the members of the band - lead singer Blackout, bassist Evan Camp, drummer Carl Chambless and guitarist Chris Boone - what songs that they would like to for their families to play at their funerals. It may sound a little morbid, and yes we know that Halloween was almost two months ago, but we thought the band would throw us some tender odes to death and loss. They ended up coming with some pretty cool cuts to soundtrack their own send-offs. Carl City And Colour, "Body In A Box" Bristle Ridge, "Sun Or Snow" Cat Stevens "Morning Has Broken"Evan Camp
Bruce Springsteen, "The River" Chuck Ragan, "Ole Diesel" Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros, "Silver And Gold"
Flogging Molly, "Grace Of God Go I" Bruce Springsteen, "Terry's Song" Mike Ness, "If You Leave Before Me"
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Tom Waits, "You Can Never Hold Back Spring" Iggy Pop, "The Passenger" Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, "Wonderful Life"