2010 looks like it's going to be a banner year for music in general. We can look forward to a new Arcade Fire opus, another Spoon outing, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and a Beach House record that is already getting Animal Collective-like buzz. Rocks Off is chomping at the bit for the new Against Me! and Gaslight Anthem discs that should be ready for summer consumption. Houston music is not slouching whatsoever in this first year of the new decade. In the past week, Rocks Off got word of oodles upon oodles of enticing stuff that is set to hit the shelves at Cactus and Sound Exchange in the coming months. It seems the great Houston music renaissance of 2009 will finally be bearing tangible recorded fruits in 2010, and we are beyond excited. Roky Moon & BOLT (above) Since we saw these guys last March with Benjamin Wesley, we have been following them with an almost cultish zeal. Lead singer Mike Hardin promises a split release with the doom-loving Ghost Town Electric, another Houston band that just started picking up steam in the past few months. The full-length BOLT album is said to be a concept record, complete with costumes and a stage show. To hear Hardin talk about it is like listening to Orson Welles tell you about the movie he is working on about a newspaper magnate.
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Fat Tony Tony promises that it will come out this year, and we finally believe him, since he's been plugging RABDARGAB with the tenacity of a lion. Any chance to see Tony live is to catch lightning in a bottle. The former Low Ends member won the Best Underground Hip-Hop title at the 2009 Houston Press Music Awards. Dude probably won't be underground by the end of the year. Balaclavas It's been a while since we heard from Balaclavas boys, but by February we should be holding their second LP, Roman Holiday, in our little mitts. Since their debut EP in 2007 they have been refining their post-punk skronk and have added Ralf Armin on saxophone, giving the proceedings a Fun House vibe. Expect plenty of raving about this one from Rocks Off once it hits the street. Buxton Houston-by-way-of-La Porte twangers Buxton have been recording the follow-up to A Family Light for the past half-year or so. Lead singer Sergio Trevino has been trotting out solo acoustic versions of the new stuff at one-off jams here and there, and the material is sounding even more Americana than we could hope for. Wild Moccasins The traveling wunderkinds have been spending time at Sugar Hill Studios recording a full-length for most of the past six months, with an LP expected to hit by summer just in time for a national tour. Updates from the studio have been promising, and hopefully we will be fighting dudes at the end of the year to get into one of their shows. Singer Zahira Gutierrez's voice has also been getting a mama-growl to it at recent shows, owing even more to Neko Case than it did before. The Energy Studio workhorses The Energy may have only played their first show three months ago, but they are already creating a boozy, punky buzz amongst the cool kids. They pretty much rendered Jay Reatard's set at Walter's null and void when they opened for him. Since the band features Chris Ryan, they have been able to record at his Dead City Sound studio, and their debut LP should hit by the spring at the earliest. No Talk Leather discipline will once again run rampant as No Talk unleashes an LP all over the chests and faces of Houston. We really fell in lust with this band over the past year, and this should sound perfect coming out of car and turntable at the house. "Suicide Answer" is probably the catchiest song about doing yourself in that will come out of Houston in 2010.
Hell City Kings The scuzz-rockers are aiming to put out a new seven-inch with new singer Josh Wolf as soon as they can. He made a more than solid debut this past November at the Westheimer Block Party, and completely makes the front man position his own. Guitarist Bill Fool said that they will also be tracking an LP for a summer release. Linus Pauling Quartet Occasional Rocks Off contributor and full-time scene paparazzo Ramon "LP4" Medina informed us that his group will be launching three releases this year, including a proper LP by the fall. This will be preceded by a split with Austin band ST-37 and a disc of rarities the band has been sitting on for a few years. Houston will not be wanting for record-release shows this year by any means. The Caprolites Lo-fi Pasadena garage-punks The Caprolites actually just hit the studio this past week to record their LP with producer Chris Ryan. This band was sort of on hiatus during 2009, but they sound vital and refreshed enough to take 2010 by the jugular. Sometimes good things take time, Rocketeers... 10th Grade Cutie You knew we were just gonna have to update the status on these kids. Blaine and Rex have kicked out their drummer, and are new devoted to more noise and trash-oriented sounds rather than their vintage punk stuff. You can get an idea of where they are going with the Christmas album they just released. They are said to be making a pilgrimage to Las Vegas in the spring, but will return a few months afterward to show us what they learned. Dave Rask When the former Midnight Pilots and Death By Texas musician passed away last June 18, he left behind a treasure trove of unreleased demos and solo acoustic excursions that are begging to be let out of the bag. Family members and friends have been looking for a way to properly show the world what he left behind. Rocks Off heard some of the stuff in the weeks after his death, and the material was absolutely stunning. Other Bands With New Music on the Way... Something Fierce, Future Blondes, Prairie Cadets, Corners, The Wiggins, Bright Men Of Learning, I Am Mesmer, Chocolate Crucifix, HRA, Omotai, Pride Kills, Tambersauro, Somosuno, Black Congress, The Homopolice, Bloody Hammer, Weird Party, Born Liars, B L A C K I E, Nosaprise and the shadowy B E C K.