Austin Music Minute

Austin Music Minute > All Episodes

February 8, 2023

Born In the Octagon

By: Laurie Gallardo

Photography by David McClister.

The rustling and murmurs started with the tales unveiled on the artist-formerly-known-as Rod Melancon‘s full-length debut Parish Lines (2014), almost like ghosts of past and present from the Austin transplant’s childhood home of Vermilion Parrish. It was only the beginning of the burgeoning storyteller’s powerful homage to the Bayou State – and, in no uncertain terms, whatever he could clearly live without. His creative metamorphosis continued on through the darkest corners of Southern Gothic (2017), on to the 2019 critically-lauded Pinkville and 2021’s For Louisiana – simultaneously a love letter to home, and an unfiltered condemnation of the systemic injustice that plagues it.

Now the untamed gator is on the loose with a new name – and a recommitment to the evocative, badass delivery that brings his music to life in a bath of fire. (Re)Introducing Rod Gator, and his newest single “Born In the Octagon”(featured on today’s AMM), another firebreather built on grit, and pulsing with an early Black Sabbath metal beat while guitars wreak havoc. Gator’s celebrating the new music with a single release show tonight, Wednesday Feb. 8, at Hotel Vegas on E. 6th. The line-up features a set by the Otis Wilkins Trio, another iteration of Taylor Wilkins’ band; Colton Cerny & The Hog Leg Band, and Ol’ Saint Walt. Doors at 9 p.m.