Damn. Just as I was finally going to write these guys up, I heard a hint that the three guys in Tambersauro — guitarist Michael Blackshear, bassist Jeff Price, and drummer/laptop-mangler Lance Higdon (all three do vocals at various points, I believe, although Price seems to handle ’em live, for the most part) — are preparing to hang up their instruments, at least for a while. Which sucks, because Tambersauro is one of the coolest, most intriguing bands in town right now, and losing them would be a freaking crime.
Why? Well, because the trio does the math-rock thing like few others in Houston can, save The Jonx (or maybe older, less-mellow Sharks and Sailors). They play a brand of math-y, jazzy, thinking-man’s rock that combines equal parts snarling/shouting Fugazi exhortation, sharp-edged June Of ’44 atmosphere, and spiraling, strong-armed Minutemen nimble-ness into something that probably comes closest to Slint, at least on record. Live, they’re a hell of a lot more visceral, hammering away at their instruments like they’re industrial tools more than guitars and drum kit and bellowing/intoning deeply-thought, intense lyrics (sometimes, anyway) like streetcorner scientists hellbent on warning the public that The End is Near.
All of which, needless to say, is pretty fucking badass, particularly because these guys can really, truly pull it off. Higdon’s a multi-rhymthic octopus (who apparently plays facing away from the audience, by the way) on the drums, not to mention a truly nice, ridiculously literate guy, Price shouts and attacks his bass like a belligerent Thurston Moore fronting an old-school SST band, and I swear to God, I have no idea how Blackshear makes his guitar fucking do what it does. Damn.
In his spare time, Price also runs, one of the coolest, most promising labels around (with the help of Higdon, among others). They’ve put out two Tambersauro full-lengths so far, both recorded at Price’s Hill View Studios — 2006’s self-titled debut and 2008’s utterly mind-blowing Theories of Delusional Origin — and I thought I’d heard a while back that a third full-length was in the works, as well. Hopefully the recent rumors turn out to be just that…