Scout Bar in Clear Lake gets a bad rep most of the time, as far as our clannish Houston scene goes. It's so far out of the Loop, physically and aesthetically, that rarely do Inner Loopers make the drive - save for the odd Tone-Loc nostalgia gig or visit back to the 'rents for food and nagging.
Most bands that come through there are of the modern-rock variety, the kind you won't exactly see swilling beers at Notsouh or selling out vinyl sides at Sound Exchange. But nonetheless, there are always surprises to be found. Last night, Aftermath dug around and found White Rhino.
Three leather-clad dudes from Austin, White Rhino brings to mind the robotic throb of the first Queens of The Stone Age record and the black-tar vocals of Lemmy from Motorhead. Lead guitarist and vocalist Michael Gibson even sort of looks like Josh Homme but with a Robert Redford from Butch Cassidy vibe thrown in the mix.
Did we mention that no one in the band is less than six feet tall? Gibson and bassist Andy Anderson both come in at least six-foot six, making their rawk somehow more threatening. Opening their set with take on Zeppelin's "Achille's Last Stand," WR immediately throw that aside and came forth with an apeshit clamor that had the dazed and Budweiser-stoked crowd in Clear Lake reaching for an extra shot of Jager.
As the Green Room next door hammered out dance staples like "Drop It Like It's Hot" for girls in barely-there skirts and boys with conspicuous winter tans, WR was coming with the Blue Cheer-style riffer "Danger." WR is engrained with such a boogie-metal abandon that you wonder how these guys came out of our era. Maybe it's the bourbon coursing through us, but we hear a faint speed-addled ZZ Top Tres Hombres thing coming through.
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They look and sound like they came from that side of your Dad's record collection that he only drags out when your Mom hassles him or his boss is giving him shit. "Vulture" traffics in a spacey expanse that makes you forget about the autographed Puddle of Mudd poster a few feet away. It would have made the late Ron Asheton smile that seedy grin of his hearing the feedback and thrash.
The band's take on Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" makes the original sound almost dear. WR does it so coarsely and bare bones, that we almost feel sad about the vaguely subdued version we heard Lemmy do this past summer. The band's closer "S.L.A" is about the Patty Hearst crew and sounds like a bottle of Lone Star,overflowing with cigarette butts, being thrown at a police car on Lyons Avenue.
Eh, the outer loop ain't so bad after all. - Craig Hlavaty
Live photo by Craig Hlavaty