Garage punk

SPRINTS: “Literary Mind” (KUTX Live at Scholz Garten)

The taste-ranging genre gastronomy of our latest Scholz Garten lineup alone made it one for the books. And that A.M. affair simply couldn’t have been complete without SPRINTS. Because…yeah, the pairing of a Dublin four-piece – garage grit, post-punk precociousness, and all – against a full KUTX crowd at one of Texas’ oldest venues was exactly what you’d expect: a pre-St. Paddy’s blast.

SPRINTS just made Letter to Self public this January, and the eclectic, confessional record has already reached millions of streams worldwide – no small feat for any up-and-comers’ big debut. But sudden success clearly hasn’t killed frontwoman Karla Chubb’s of-kilter candor, since she expertly steered her quartet through a mad dash of lyrical honesty and aural adrenaline. SPRINTS heads back to the UK next week, so fingers crossed when they’re planning their next tour, our KUTX-clusive live recording of their show closer, “Literary Mind” preserves the memory and inspires another Austin appearance some time in the future.

The Dead Coats: “Reach”

The outrageous rawness of garage punk has always lent itself to gimmicks. But just because you incorporate a bit of stage antics into the routine doesn’t mean the music can’t carry weight on its own merit. Take for example The Dead Coats, forged by Lauren Warmer in Baltimore a decade back before moving to Austin in 2017. Once they re-tailored themselves into a quartet, The Dead Coats cranked out two fantastically-callous EPs towards the end of the 2010s. And just before the pandemic put a damper on the whole “Live Music Capital of the World” thing, The Dead Coats donned some oddly-prescient dress at Kickbutt Coffee – as nurses that transported Warmer’s living corpse onstage via bodybag. The following March The Dead Coats really caught ears with their debut full-length Big Wish, a record that earned them a sold out show at Empire, plus an Austin Music Award for “Best Rock Act” in 2022, and an induction into Austin Music Foundation’s 2023 Development Class. Since then we’ve just been counting the seconds until another new single; an era of anticipation that ended this morning. With the release of “Reach”, The Dead Coats kicks off the weekend 10PM tonight at The Far Out Lounge for the Virgo Zodiac Party. Doors are at 7, Shelly Webster starts it off at 8, followed by Moon Fuzz at 9, and Pinky Rings close it down at 11. But if Far Out Lounge is a just bit out of reach, you can still get riled up wherever you want in three minutes flat. An instant riot from its first guitar riff to its final chord sustain, “Reach” shrieks and shreds with a wailing vocal performance, pulsing power chords and bass accompaniment, gripping percussion fills, and a much-appreciated change of pace thanks to a half-time breakdown in its bridge. It’s the pinnacle of punk rock, plain and simple.

Nuclear Tourism: “Dad Brains”

So hot right now! …poolside music videos that is. But also, yeah…patrolling the U.S. south this time of year almost makes you wish for a nuclear winter. So with mutually assured destruction still a bit too close for comfort, nuclear tourism seems like the next best thing. Yet we’re not predicting a windfall of Trinity testsite visitors post-Oppenheimer. No, we’re actually talking about Athens, Georgia garage punk rock quartet Nuclear Tourism. These dastardly slackers got started a half decade back with their debut album Scraping By and ever since, when they’re not getting stoned as a bone, bombing hills, or slurping up greasy slices, the four-piece is going full-power in their practice space, shredding through raw reflections of dissent and affection. And as Nuclear Tourism basks in the fallout of their eponymous sophomore record that dropped in February, they also cool off in a newly-issued music video for “Dad Brains”. Bridging timeless embodiments of angst and contextualizing The Graduate for the next generation of unmotivated miscreants, Nuclear Tourism channels Dustin Hoffman’s iconic despondency in the only way they know how; by slappin’ the “plastics” out of those patronizing paternal synapses and instead bonding over Marlboros, beers, and cannonballs. Making apathy look as flashy as it does nasty, “Dad Brains” begs for a drink-a-long lobotomy…just wait ’til you get home from work before diving in and putting ’em down.