Free Press Summer Fest

A Summer Fest Blind Taste Test

As part of our Free Press Summer Fest coverage, Rocks Off asked our writers to investigate an artist they'd never seen playing this weekend and report back on the results. In hindsight, the assignment was a little confusing, but Cory Garcia came through.

The Eastern Sea: There's a certain type of a singer that sounds naturally melancholy whether the song they're singing is sad or not. There are certain types of bands that can use acoustic guitar without sounding like something coming out of a coffee shop. The Eastern Sea features both of these elements and are at their best when they're playing to these strengths. It'll be interesting to see how their sometimes-dreary brand of indie rock translates to the daytime stage. 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, Stage 7

Giant Battle Monster: Barely controlled chaos? Check. Awesome name? Check. Filed under math-rock, progressive and experimental, according to their Bandcamp profile, the first thing that came to mind for this writer was "a fun Dillinger Escape Plan." Some people might hear noise, but pay close attention and you'll be rewarded with some nice riffs and good melodies. And for fans of all things ridiculous, the band is trying to organize a monster battle for their set. Fingers crossed it works out. 6 p.m. Sunday, June 3, SHFL Stage

New York City Queens: A lot of bands could learn a thing or two about how to balance multiple vocalists from these Houston natives. Whether they're harmonizing or just working in harmony, the vocals always seem to just work. The NYCQ sound like a summer band, be it the sugary '60s-styled hook in "Be My Baby" or the more contemporary indie sound of "Hello Again." If you're looking to sway your body while sweating the day away, you'll want to check them out. 4:30 p.m. Sunday, June 3, Stage 7

Glasnost: Some bands don't have to try hard when it comes to labeling themselves. In Glasnost's case, they list their genre as "elrocktronic," which is the perfect portmanteau for what these guys set out to do. If nothing else, they prove that you can make synth-y dance music that isn't boring and sterile. And if you happen to love the '80s, there's a certain retro feeling that comes with their synth choices, but in a less nostalgic/more "remember how awesome these sounds are?" sort of way. 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 2, Stage 7

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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia