Damn. I just can’t say enough things about these crazy kids. You wouldn’t think it to look at ’em, but when this little threesome picks up their instruments, their brand of catchy, bitterly tuneful, raw-but-not-messy garage-rock just plain knocks me off my feet. The music is loud and raw, as furious, urgent, and punkish as the Ramones or early Social D, but with a subtle dose of melody. Guitarist/vocalist Steven Garcia, bassist Niki Sevven, and drummer Red Rocket manage to take what’s left of modern-day garage rock — and let’s be honest, most of what’s out there just ain’t that pretty — and meld it with songs like the ones that made late-’70s/early-’80s British power-pop so freakin’ amazing.
In the relatively short time they’ve been together, they’ve been throwing out releases — there’s 2006’s excellent, excellent Come For The Bastards (reviewed here), which is one of the best blasts of sweaty, amped-up rock I’ve heard in quite a while, an awesome split-7″ with College Station’s The Hangouts on Manic Attack Records, the much-delayed Modern Girl 7″ on Bitchin’ Riffage Recs, and in 2008 the badass second release, There Are No Answers (reviewed here). The new stuff, in particular, is freakin’ great, particularly “Teenage Ruins,” which has become my H-town rock anthem of the moment, “Modern Girl,” “Aliens,” and “Why Can’t I.” It’s raw and fiery, but different, more explicitly indebted to the power-pop side of things, and honest, it’s great.
(The deal with the Modern Girl 7″, by the way: the record was due to come out quite a while back, but the label ran into some serious financial difficulties. When it became apparent that the vinyl wasn’t happening — or so the SF crew thought — they decided to give it away for free on thesite. Miraculously, though, it’s now actually released, so pick up a copy if you run across it, eh?)
Best of all, SF somehow blaze just as bright live as they do on record. I caught ’em not long ago at Rudz, and the transformation from friendly punk-jacket-wearing kids to full-on rock heroes was impressive. Rocket’s drumming is frantic without being all over the place, Sevven’s bass anchors the whole mess, and Garcia yowls and careens around the stage like he’s channeling Agent Orange’s Mike Palm (and that’s a good thing). Put it all together, and you’ve got one of the best damn garage-y punk bands I’ve ever seen come out of this city. Cross your fingers they don’t crash and burn like bands here seem to do on a regular basis…
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