It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off, we're trying hard to decode Houston's oddest monikers in order to find a little meaning.
"Scene" is a loaded word. To be part of one is to not be a part of another. Exclusion becomes the by-product of community. So when we saw a band called The Anti-Scene was playing at Scout Bar tonight, we were quite intrigued. What is the opposite of two opposing forces anyway?
First thing we discovered is an extremely potent mix of hip-hop, metal and soul that does not sound nearly as soullessly modern as you're thinking it does. Instead of the watered-down lowest common denominator that permeates the soundtracks and trailers of bad action movies, you have something with some real bite to it.
It manages freshness in genres long gone stale and gamy from being stored in the same plastic bag since the heyday of Faith No More.
But why call it the Anti-Scene?
The band's email response to the origin of the name told us what we say in the disclaimer, that it's just something that guitarist Gustavo Gamboa came in and spouted off one day. But like many bands that have ended up with labels that way, they grew into it.
By their own admission, the group is made of "four marching-band nerds who can quote every line from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movies." No shame in being in the band. Tommy Lee was a band nerd, and the rudiments he learned in high school served him well. Despite the common ground, each member brings a different musical taste to the project, giving rise to the unity through elimination theory.
"Our dream is too see all scenes come together at our shows," said the band in an emailed release. "The metal scene, hip-hop scene, emo scene, hipster scene, all of them. We going to shows and seeing the different scenesters congregate in their different corners waiting for their band to play (there is a lot of this in Austin) and just text away on those godforsaken cell phones.
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"No one moves, sings, or dances. As if they would ruin their precious forehead hair swoop and expose their right eye. Making them no longer look cool. This has to stop. If we could get every one to realize they ain't shit, as my grandmother's mother would say, and just have a good time instead of worrying of what others think, that would be a dream. And if that calls for an anti-scene scene. Then so be it."
Good luck to them. Houston could certainly stand to see a few clichéd walls come tumbling down.
Anti-Scene: Noun. 1) Unity through elimination of sub-groups; 2) A song about Batman or weed; 3) The enlightened state of non-douchebaggery.