The current volume of local music is staggering. New Houston bands are born daily, and all too often pass away just as quickly. Rocks Off wants to help you (and ourselves) keep up.
Here's how this works: With all the time we spend plowing through the Internet, scouring record crates and picking local musicians' brains, it's safe to say we do our fair share of digging. We'll whip up some quick profiles of local acts as we discover them, whether we personally enjoy their music or not. We believe that everyone deserves a chance to be heard. This column is an attempt to spotlight local music of which we either weren't aware or simply had yet to hear, accompanied by a few remarks about each artist. Dig in.
Cog Melter: We discovered this three piece while covering the World Naked Bike Ride (photos semi-NSFW) at Super Happy Fun Land this past June. The grindcore trio describes themselves as "third coast bikeviolence," advocating bike, human, and animal liberation and declaring "we won't stop until we accomplish this goal." Cog Melter songs are short, straight, and to the point and pertain mostly to equal rights for bikers. Some center around post-apocalyptic themes.
Other Sites: Last FM
New York City Queens This indie-rock group probably could have picked a better name; on first glance it seems to be a ripoff of local punks Hell City Kings. Second, just try Googling that name - no seriously, see how long it takes to find the band. While looking, however, take in their tunes, with some choppy upbeat rhythms and lots of background vocals. "One Trick Pony" feels like it was lifted from a movie with Jason Schwartzman.
Other Sites: Facebook
Crime Wave: This is yet another project from Josh Wolf, whose ubiquity amidst our punk and hardcore scene is well known. Punk fans around the world are familiar with Houston's particular brand of the genre, and Crime Wave has already rattled off a pair of EPs, offering all their songs free online and selling limited-edition vinyl pressings of their releases. The band features Wolf (drums), Matt Juarez (bass) and Mike Grayum (vocals, guitar).
Other Sites: Bandcamp
Via Cavour: This quartet is the latest group to come out of the Mia Kat Empire camp, and any action on that front is encouraging to see. Made up of members of Hollywood Black, The Nautical Mile, and The Ride Home, the sound is a more ethereal and wandering version of Hollywood Black's raucous evangelist punk. The large drums remain, as do the saintly lyrics, but the guitar and bass parts swing far into the indie-rock realm, and some synth pieces round out the sound.
Other Sites: Bandcamp
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The Rebecca West Married couple Cameron Dezen Hammon and Matt Hammon comprise The Rebecca West. This folk-pop duo has just one song online so far, but it's infectious. Harmonies, a dulcimer part, a nice driving beat and of course an acoustic guitar come together for a pretty, "driving down the highway in the country" tune. It's similar to The Civil Wars, but with the woman taking the bulk of the vocal duties.