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Punk

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The Bends @ the Rivoli

The Bends call themselves surfadelic garage rock. Which I say is most excellent. This 5 piece group just released a new EP called "Bikini Grandma" which sounds fun. The first tune "I Don't Want To Fight" makes me not want to fight, believe it or not. Trippy guitar opens it up and carries the tune along while the bass goes for the odd walk. The vocals remind me of Wayne Petti from Cuff the Duke although the music behind them is quite different. Total Hawaiian party music right here. Heyoo. This EP is just a taste of what you'll hear from their sophomore album due out sometime this month. So hit up their bandcamp and get used to the lovely sounds of the Bends. It'll get you mucho excited for their new record. You can also go see em at the Rivoli tonight 7/3! - Kris "Big City" Gies

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Big Frasier @ Declaration Muse: An Indie Canuck Bash

It's a gorgeous day in Southern Ontario. So what better way to enjoy then to listen to some new tuneage. Big Frasier is a 4 piece rock outfit based in Toronto. They released their latest album "Tussle" in July 2014. I jammed out to "Love is a Paperback" first. It's a pretty greasy blues based tune. Solid rhythm laying the foundation for some slippery guitar licks over top. I particularly liked the line about "woman is a danger cat"....paying homage to one of my idol's Dean Murdoch. So clearly Big Frasier knows how to giver and probably shotguns Pilsners on the reg. There's definitely some Black Keys/White Stripes influence except they have a bass player. So it's pretty bad ass to say the least. They'll be playing Porcelain Records in Hamilton on Saturday July 4th so I suggest you go get good n' sloppy.- Kris "Big City" Gies

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DC's punk/emo revival duo The Obsessives release a single and announce their upcoming debut LP

Some of us are starting to feel old, hearing genre names like "emo revival". Whatever happened to emo music after those side-bangs days of myspace yore? No matter the year, there will always be kids getting their hearts broken apart and making bold eyeliner decisions, and the music must follow. DC's two-piece The Obsessives have been pals since childhood, and channeled the final bits of their collective teenage angst into a debut LP entitled "Heck No, Nancy" (a direct quote from Slaughterhouse Five). The LP was written and recorded within their last few weeks of high school and will release this September. They put a single out just a few days ago - "Daisy"- that follows two people from the first time they meet and discuss books and solitude (love-at-first-sight seems to hit peak hour during study hall/detention) to the present where their friendship "has grown into a sad display". This may be their debut LP, but it will be the duo's fourth musical release within the past three years. The Obsessive's have got the spunk of The Front Bottoms paired with the proud fetal position perfected by Dashboard Confessional. "Heck No, Nancy" is available now for pre-order via local label Near Mint on vinyl and Bandcamp.

- Leora Mandel

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The many layers of Havania Whaal

Since 2012 Portland’s Havania Whaal has been making their own rules. Their ethereal sound can be likened to post-punk meets shoegaze...sort of. They call themselves “noise pop”, but when you’re forging new territory the descriptors fall short of the mark. All three members share vocal duties, which adds to the layers and dimension of their reverb-drenched domain. Stepping it up further, they recently created a live stage production with dancers and costumes, the soundtrack of which was the band performing their new cassette release “13 A.D.” Rumor has it that live productions will be a hallmark of Havaia Whaal shows henceforth. They’re touring the east coast with Portland’s Lubec for 10 days starting July 9 in Massachusetts.

See their tour kickoff show at The Know July 2nd. Buy their tape, pop it in the cassette deck of your ‘85 Volvo, and cruise around town lamenting the summer, wearing the darkest shades you can find. 

-Just Dave

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New ¿Que Pasa? Videos for Tracks from Friendly Punk Album 'BIG MISTAKE'

“We can’t wait to meet you,” says the ¿Que Pasa? description of one of Austin’s most anti-pretentious, most-likable rock music bands. That’s not rock referring to the guitar-inflected whatever that mostly associates itself with that agin’ word these days; no ¿Que Pasa? is of the punk (with some post-punk notes and venturing into psych at times) flavored school of this rock thing, and they just put out a pretty damn good modern punk album this last December that is now gettin’ the music video treatment on a couple tracks.

That sentiment of welcome found upon yon FB page is an extension of the band’s general attitude, which presents a kind-of “friendly punks” attitude that, if you’ve ever known any punks that weren’t just into the life for the infamy, is actually dead representative of a certain side of the genre. “Infeliz” is the latest track off album BIG MISTAKE to get visuals, and it shows off a band that you just really wanna go get some P. Terry’s with after and hang out drinkin’ in a park or some shit. I mean, the other track with a vid, “My Family,” literally lists singer Liz Burrito’s friends, including all members of the bands and a few others, and involves cake, board games, beer, bathtub candles and the lyrics “My friends, they are my family.”

Yet, the punk is strong with this one, and the songs are fun and often heavy and harsh, and entirely sincere. Passion + friendliness used to be the unofficial/official Austin creative way, and in the modern muddle that is an Austin where Cheer Ups has to fight to preserve a beautiful natural limestone wall being torn down for no other reason than money, we’re fully into bands that keep alive the spirit that made Austin a destination in the first place and preserve something very Austin. ¿Que Pasa? is what Austin’s about in its soul, and you should all go and be their friends now. Seems like they’d be pretty into it, if yer a non-dick and all. Music video below, full album to be found at their Bandcamp here.

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