Keep Houston Press Free

The Service Industry

Joining the ranks of clock-punching bands like the Waitresses, the Busboys and Mike & the Mechanics, the Service Industry examine the workaday drudgery that allows them to practice their craft on debut Limited Coverage. Cobbled together from several Austin bands — Wannabes, Diamond Smugglers, Rockland Eagles, Fire Marshals of Bethlehem — TSI adhere to comfortable pop/rock that every so often flashes some musical and lyrical bite. Wage-slave laments like "Job of Quality," "Have to Go to Work" and "They Fired Me" balance resignation and frustration, but frontman Mike McCoy — doing his best with less than inspirational subject matter — still elicits a chuckle or two with lines like "I did my job, I need my money now, to go get a 12-pack" or "My secretary thinks I'm gay." He and Julie Lowery's back-and-forth vocals give "Now Wake Up and Die" and "Valhalla" an X-like cast, and McCoy warbles like Roky Erickson on the bittersweet "Palestine." A sharp cover of the Undertones' "You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It)" and the Pixies-ish thrasher "Zippy's Lament" bolsters the album's second half, as does the amusing "Hollywood Out of Austin." TSI may have let a little too much of that workplace drudgery leach into their songs, but that's no reason to garnish their wages.

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Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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