punk rock

Subpar Snatch: “Juicy Booty”

In the casual hookup community, even lovers with the highest body counts (especially those outside cis-hetero norms) might agree; it’s not size, shape, presence, or lack of specific anatomical features that make the biggest impression after the act. No, the quality of your “bits” may actually come second to a sense of enthusiasm when turning what could’ve been a vapid interaction into an unforgettable encounter. You know…”the motion of the ocean” and all that.

Sorry. We’re not trying to give anyone the ick. We just needed a little foreplay before introducing you to Subpar Snatch. First off, “Supbar Snatch” ain’t a bait-and-switch…like if a middle aged man named Richard were to go by “Mid Dick”; check their labian logo lest you misinterpret the band’s handle. Secondly, this Austin ménage à trois of mania and talent has managed to standout in the turbulent world of punk and garage shows which, whether in liminal concrete spaces or on sticky dive bar stages, are usually messy encounters full of technical missteps, sloppy techniques, hair getting caught in things, and performances so short they often climax before the crowd’s hardly half-cocked.

Haven’t slid into Subpar Snatch live in concert yet? Let ’em satisfy you this Pride Month with a gig next Wednesday at Still Austin Whiskey Co. for Gay Heat: Benefit for Equality Texas and a single and music video release show 11:30PM tomorrow night at Chess Club, with openers Sunspite at 10 and Bat Lips at 10:45, plus closers Hell Fury a quarter past midnight. And that new single, “Juicy Booty” is one of the trio’s most aggressive and accessible to date. With a pristine mix that preserves that in-garage gusto, a start-and-stop instrumental riff that’ll make you pull something in the pit, a half time bridge breakdown that edges towards a big finish, and individual intensities that layer together perfectly, “Juicy Booty” is a succulent, stimulating testament to what makes this three-piece anything but subpar…and why denying naughty song titles is plain asinine.

Rival Waves: “Time’s Up”

When you’re in the high seas, you’re at the mercy of rogue waves. When you’re in Texas during the summertime, you’re at the mercy of heatwaves. But if you’d prefer to get thrashed around and work up a sweat without ever facing the sun or leaving port, here in Austin we’ve got Rival Waves.

Starting with their 2018 debut full-length Transducer, this quintet’s ebbed and flowed through all kinds of rocky channels, ranging from alternative and indie to grunge and punk. Sure, the tides of mainstream music have shifted, and we’re at least a couple decades removed from most of those genres’ commercial heydays, but that hasn’t stopped Rival Waves from making a big splash in the local scene and beyond; just check out their respectable streaming numbers between last August’s A Meaningless Chaos and late April’s NAMI EP alone.

Well, ahead of a single release show 8PM next Friday, June 21st at The Courtyard ATX, Rival Waves has a foreboding message to any remaining naysayers: “Time’s Up”. Like the training montage soundtrack that escalates to a final climactic battle, Rival Waves crash against high octane punk and melodic alternative with an almost operatic song structure and chord sequence on “Time’s Up”. But in terms of Rival Waves’ still-cresting career? They’re not stopping the clock any time soon.

Lavender Scare: “I Hate Saturdays”

Pride Month kicks off in just a few days, and to help you celebrate in style, we’re swirling the colors with a rising Queer project. And that’s Lavender Scare, whose midcentury reference of a band handle alone tips you off to their championing of LGBTQ identities.

Chief songwriter Ruby Del Mar commands the quartet with high-octane vocals and riveting rhythm guitar, collectively creating what they call “slop pop punk”. And based on what we’ve heard from their upcoming debut Bites, that’s a pretty accurate classification; the power chord subdivisions and instrumental synchronization might not be perfectly precise at these breakneck tempos, but with pop-inspired chord sequences and radio-friendly runtimes, this four-track introduction almost sounds like Against Me! mixed with Yellowcard, all with a bit of a Queer Texas twist.

We’ll be able to sink our teeth into Bites when it hits streaming this Friday or in-person for the record release show 8PM next Thursday at 13th Floor alongside Shysters and Reality Refugee. But until then, embark on Lavender Scare’s snark with the EP’s lead, “I Hate Saturdays”, because like the anthem to a bizarro, weekend-loathing Garfield, this loneliness-engendered tune’s gonna leave you hungry for more.

Coral samples in Galveston could be key to keeping the species alive

On the eve of early voting, Alexandra Samuels of Texas Monthly and Mark Jones of the Baker Institute at Rice University share a closer look at some of the big contests Texas voters will see on their primary ballots.

We’ll hear about what happened when reporters for the Houston Chronicle began mapping where tickets are being issued to people experiencing homelessness there.

Amid mounting threats from climate change, scientists at Moody Gardens in Galveston are caring for 150 coral fragments from five species to keep them alive.

Anyone up for barbecue – for breakfast? BBQ journalist Daniel Vaughn has some prime tips.

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.

CIVIC: “Born in the Heat”

We’ve gotten drenched by several “South By Soaking Wet”s in the past, but rest assured, despite gloomy weather, there’s a lot going on. And any precipitation aside, CIVIC sure as hell is in that mix. Founded in 2017, this Melbourne quintet has continued to follow old school punk rock’s first rules: 1) Don’t overthink it, 2) just have fun, and 3) play what gets the people going. And while we suspect CIVIC’s circle pits are a prime place to get bloody and bruised, the band’s pandemic-era full-lengths have found the five-piece broadening their scope to more inclusive, higher-fidelity, and controllable elements of rock, albeit all high-octane.

That said CIVIC‘s already begun bringing the low-light grit of the “Aussie music experience” to our city limits. They wrapped up the first quarter of a dozen shows yesterday afternoon at Hole in the Wall and just hopped off stage at Mohawk for Flood-Fest a few minutes ago. They’ll be back at Hotel Vegas today at 2PM for Levitation Party before a 5PM set at South By San Jose. Tomorrow’s options are 12:15PM at Chess Club, 2:15PM at Australia House/Lucille Patio, and 5PM in the Waterloo Records parking lot. CIVIC’s final Hotel Vegas appearance is Saturday at 2PM, before Do512’s “The Big One” 6PM at Far Out Lounge and 11PM at Valhalla.

With that many gigs (both official and unofficial) at that many venues, you won’t need to be Taken By Force to see CIVIC in person. So why not brave the elements to throw elbows with some of Australia’s finest? Because as much as us Texans like to poke fun at those who complain about the sun, these Melbourne badasses were “Born in the Heat”. Catch the fire while it’s close by…

Pleasure Venom: “Lose It”

As Love Austin Music Month starts to lull, we’re at the final offering fromAustin Music Foundation’s Artist Development Program and ATX Gen Next: Adventures in Person. Punk groupPleasure Venom has certainly helped to make this iteration of ATX Gen Next pop out compared toprevious versions, thanks topowerful verses chock-full ofpolitical views and vivacious arrangements that pack a serious punch.

You’ll be able to enjoy some of Pleasure Venom’spunk on vinyl later this summer when ATX Gen Next comes out on wax. For today though, toss out the predictability and get vicious with Pleasure Venom on the lengthy-yet-evolving “Lose It”!

Lola Tried: “Make It Better”

Going back to the genre’s mid-’80s heyday with Big Boys and Dicks, punk rock has been a major part of Austin’s musical character. And though there are a number of groups that continue the Austin punk legacy into the 2020s, few can package their sound with the same accessibility of Lola Tried. Fronting vocalist-guitarist Lauren Burton first treated us to her four-piece’s pop-punk sweets on 2017’s Popsicle Queen and made Lola Tried’s eponymous, full-album debut the following year.

After yanking out the proverbial tooth on Lola Tried, these two-time Studio 1A veterans have cleared out any unwanted abscesses of the band’s infantile days and put their evolved formulas on display with Lola Tried’s just-released sophomore EP, Renvers. On average these songs are a little slower, a little longer with more intricate structures, and on the whole more mature sounding than their predecessors, though they still pack the same punch as those early energizers and continue to carry the emotional weight that’s always made us love this quartet. Lola Tried celebrates the release of Renvers tonight at Native Hostel along with A. Sinclair, Warm Sugar, and The Gospel Truth and whether or not you can make it out, you can certainly improve the quality of your weekend right now with “Make It Better”!

The Consequentialists: “Puzzle”

When it comes to philosophy in punk music, raw always wins the luck of the draw. Take, for example, Austin outfit The Consequentialists, who knocked out the pre-production for their debut EP under the primitive restrictions of an iPhone’s built in microphone and the entry-level limits of Garage Band, over-dubbing only what they needed to pack a punch after the fact.

The resulting self-titled record is an unfettered offering of aggressive energy, putting The Consequentialists high up on our list of artists we can’t wait to see live. And with The Consequentialists finishing at a compact fifteen minutes, you definitely have the time to pilfer through its five tracks, starting with the album opener, “Puzzle”!

Armadillo Bonus: Punk Rock and New Wave

Join KUTX as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Armadillo World Headquarters, the music venue that helped put Austin on the musical map. In this bonus episode, hear how the Armadillo became the unlikely home for punk rock and new wave in Austin: Joe Ely blows away the Clash. The Ramones put their bodies on the line. The Runaways inspire an Austin musician to form one of the most popular bands of all time. Hardcore punk gets a Texas flavor. And the Armadillo crowd won’t let the Police leave until they play their entire set–again.