By the End of Tonight

By the End of Tonight

Against all odds, yes, this quartet from the rural down-home-iness of Alvin (just south of H-town) has turned into one of the city’s few true indie success stories. They sent off their self-reeased A Letter to the Sandbox EP off to hipster-cred haven Temporary Residence Limited, and the label signed ’em on nearly immediately.

Since then, they’ve put out two more “band” EPs, Fireworks on Ice and A Tribute to Tigers, plus a set of four “solo” EPs, each by a different member of the band (The Gunslinger, the awesomely-named My Mom Caught Me In My Room Beat Boxin’, He’s Home With Bones That Grow The Way They’re Supposed To, & The Imaginary). Oh, and there’re also splits with fellow locals O Pioneers!!! & labelmates Tera Melos. phew. If that isn’t enough, the band’s reportedly currently working on a full-length — after being awful quiet for nearly a year — and guitarist Stefan Mach’s now also doing a side project of sorts called Lisa’s Sons, which I’ve heard is well worth checking out.

I have to admit that while I liked the band’s recorded output, it wasn’t ’til I finally saw ’em live that the band really, truly floored. The complex, constantly-shifting rhythms, genre-hopping guitars (thrash heaviness one second, gentle indie atmospherics the next), and pretty much totally vocal-less nature of the music can be rough through the headphones, but actually witnessing it unfolding, right there in front of you? Holy fucking hell, y’all. Guitarists Mach and Brett Taylor effortlessly riff like they just mainlined 20 years’ worth of Guitar Player magazines, drummer Jeff Wilson (who may be leaving the band, I hear; the band’s been auditioning replacements) beats the hell out of his minimal, stripped-down kit, and bassist James Templeton throws himself across the floor like he’s engaged in a to-the-death cage match with his bass. All of a sudden, the stop-shift-slam time signatures make perfect fucking sense, the lack of lyrics doesn’t matter a bit, and the band’s collective genius becomes apparent. It’s a wonder to behold.

Band writeup by . Band writeup posted Tuesday, July 14th, 2009. Filed under Posts.

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