Houston Music

Artist of the Week: OSIRUS

There comes a time in every man's life when he has to ask himself one serious question: Am I a fan of polished alt-rock?

Prior to a few weeks ago, we would've answered that with a succinct, if not curt, "no, bitch." The grittier stuff, we like. The experimental stuff is fun too. Hell, we even purchased a shoegaze CD back in 1998 when we were going through our Look How Mysterious Our Bangs Make Us Look phase. But the cleaner, shinier versions of alt-rock? Well, since we are fans neither slick nor glossy, anytime someone mentioned it we'd just called them turds and went on about our business.

And then we heard OSIRUS.

OSIRUS is a revolving eight-year-old alt-rock band that, despite apparently putting on a wicked good live show, you've never heard of. Shoot, we hadn't even heard of them until someone passed along their information a few months ago, so don't feel bad.

The thing that made us want to induct OSIRUS into the ultra-elite Artist of the Week club is that the band can be both crisp and trenchant, which might be the most important characteristic of any aspiring alt-rock band. That, and projecting a certain smarminess when you talk about your lyrics.

So we got with the group to discuss those horrible commercials on TV where the volume suddenly increases tenfold, their upcoming Battle of the Bands finale this weekend and some nonsense about a gigantic umbilical cord. Have at it.

Rocks Off: Don't you hate when you're watching TV at a perfectly reasonable volume, and then all of sudden a commercial comes on and, for some reason, it is just obscenely loud? That just happened to us, and it's infuriating.

OSIRUS: Exactly! This should definitely be against the law! Not sure if those advertisers realize it, but when their commercials come on blazing loud, a lot of us are just going to turn it down to an inaudible level and might even subconsciously form a negative opinion of their product because of their noise pollution and obtrusiveness into our homes.

RO: Yeah, it's a lot like when a Paul Wall song comes on the radio in that respect. Tell us a little bit about the Battle of the Bands thing that you guys are doing. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much better would you say that you guys are than the other bands?

O: We don't know 100 percent who all the final participants are - we're still awaiting some feedback from the organizers - but can tell you that based on our opponents the night of our semifinal round that on a scale of 1 to 10, it'd be 0!

Seriously, those bands were very talented and this battle is no joke. So far, all the artists we have played with have been phenomenal musicians and have deserved their spot on the stage. Art is such a subjective thing anyway, and we would never want to personally rank ourselves against such great talent, as skill and beauty is in the eye, or ear of the beholder.

RO: What exactly is an Osirus? Please tell us it has something to do with the Ol' Dirty Bastard album of the same name, because that would make you all the best rock band in the world.

O: OSIRUS is a giant rip in the fabric of space where most musical thirst is quenched. Just think of it as an over-glorified ripple in time nurturing your musical desire through a giant umbilical cord.

RO: Oh, yeah, yeah, that was our next guess, actually.

O: Sorry to disappoint you, though. Even at the risk of not attaining the title of best rock band in the world, and all due respect to ODB, but we were OSIRUS long before him (since 2000). We have the trademark to prove it.

RO: We saw that you guys are looking for a bassist. How'd that come about? What happened to the last guy?

O: Our previous bassist had been wrestling with this for awhile, but finally decided back in February that politics/political science was his calling in life and that doing the band thing full time just wasn't in the cards for him, and we can definitely respect that. As a result of this, and if nothing else, now we may know of at least one honest politician!

RO: Kind of embarrassed to admit, because it's the kind of thing we'd usually lambast as being super-wack, but "I Don't Wanna Work" is a lot of fun. It's very shiny, and has a certain edgy Disney-musical vibe. Not a question, just something I felt should be addressed.

O: Funny thing, another interviewer also used the word "shiny" to describe it too and, yeah, it's basically that. It's just a fun, upbeat rock tune and a lot of people seem to dig the vibe of it.

RO: Really? Dammit. When, where, and for how much can people see you all live?

O: Everyday, everywhere, and for one mill-e-on dollars. Actually, you can catch us next on Sunday, May 17, at Vintage Pub, 13245 Jones Road (at Grant), 281-469-9555 or www.myspace.com/vintagepub. The entire Battle of the Bands gig lasts from 6-10 p.m. and we've been told that, tentatively, we're supposed to go on at 8 p.m. However, check with Vintage Pub for the latest info. Also, it's a free show.

For future shows or general roundabout information regarding the band, check out OSIRUS at www.osirus.net.

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Shea Serrano