Aftermath: The Wild Moccasins at Mango's

Every once in a while Houston will surprise you. There's only so much back-and-forth about who's a redneck and who cheats on his wife and who was responsible for 9/11 one man can absorb before he just wants to say "fuck it" and move back to Austin. Jesus H. Christ. But then you wind up at Mango's, and it's packed, full, sweaty, lively, buzzing. A full house for a local band about to embark upon its first-ever tour, taking the plunge that has doomed all too many Houston bands in the past. But the Wild Moccasins just might make it. Thursday, the Moccasins augmented the pleasant summery pop tones of their Microscopic Metronomes EP with a sturdy - and almost surly - rock foundation that should serve them especially well once they've been in the van about two weeks and are really starting to get on each other's nerves. They probably won't be able to feed off the crowd's energy like they did at Mango's - it was the most electric atmosphere Rocks Off has seen at a local show all year - but they may not even need to. It was a great show - not grading-the-local-band-on-a-curve great, but this-band-could-have-been-from-anywhere-and-I-would-have-been-impressed great. Afterwards, there were a few too many shirtless dudes running around for Aftermath's taste, but that's just a personal thing. Four stars. Maybe there's hope for Houston after all.

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