Yr. Weekend, Pt. 3: American Fangs + Born Again Virgins + Giant Battle Monster + Square and Compass + More

Well, damn. Today — Sunday, December 2nd — kinda-sorta crept up on me, and I totally didn’t realize (despite looking at the shows list all the freaking time) that there was this much going on. And yeah, I completely neglected to talk about the Philip Glass concert that was today at noon at The Menil Collection, although that was partly conscious choice; the show sold out nearly the same day it was announced, I believe, and I always feel weird talking up shows that, um, people who don’t already have tickets definitely won’t be going to. shrug.

At any rate, I’m still stuck in the middle of house stuff, so I’ve gotta keep it brief, but here else there is to do tonight:

Born Again Virgins/American Fangs/Antique Scream @ Big Star Bar
Damn, those American Fangs guys keep making me nervous; they disappear for months at a time, without so much as a peep in the way of news or whatnot, making me worry that they’ve called it quits (as bands here tend to do), and then, boom, they’re back again, playing several shows in the space of a month or two. phew. It’s a relief because they’re one of the best damn no-subgenre rock bands this city’s got going, and I’ve been waiting with bated breath for them to release new stuff, tour, and, hell, explode into quasi-stardom or something. If a band from here can do it, it’s these guys or the last place you look, seriously.

Beyond the Fangs guys, headliners Born Again Virgins are pretty cool, themselves; I haven’t heard ’em lately, but when I’ve listened to ’em in the past, they’ve been cool, all sharp-edged, metallic rock with lots of screaming and NY noisecore elements. Good stuff.

Giant Battle Monster/Demonic Hen/Trough @ Rudyard’s
Speaking of noise… Yep, Rudyard’s tonight has what I think is a full complement of noisy, messy, raw sounds, topped off by the spastic squall of Houston’s own Giant Battle Monster. I’ve only seen the band once, sadly, but I was mightily impressed by the group’s ability to play what sounds at first like an unhinged morass of skronking, screeching, high-velocity guitar noise but which, upon closer listens, is actually an intricate, bizarrely tight kind of prog-jazz that’s been turned up to 12 and set on fire. Plus, it’s entertaining as hell to watch a band play when they look like they’re being electrocuted live on stage…

Another Run/Square and Compass/Caches the Ghosts @ The Scout Bar (Clear Lake)
There was more on this list — like Miss Leslie‘s show at The Track Shack out in Spring — but sadly, I blew it. sigh. But hey, all is not lost if you live down the Clear Lake ‘hood, because tonight’s show over at The Scout Bar is pretty badass. I’ve heard good things about Baytown band Caches the Ghosts, and I’ve liked most of what I’ve heard from headlining band Another Run, to boot, but the real draw for me is Square and Compass. Those guys worship heavily at the ’90s emo altar, and yeah, I freaking love it. I’ve had their new CD, How To Escape, in the car for a while now, and dammit, I seriously owe them a review but haven’t yet been able to do it (sorry, y’all…soon?). In the meantime, though, just trust me when I say that they play smart, desperate, heartfelt, just-distorted-enough indie-rock/emo/post-punk that — to me, at least — feels as familiar and awesome as an old t-shirt I used to love but haven’t worn in years.

Runners-Up:
Dethklok/Machine Head/All That Remains/The Black Dahlia Murder @ House of Blues
Trout Fishing in America @ McGonigel’s Mucky Duck
Freak Heat Waves/Rapeworm/Thou Shalt Not Kill…Except @ Notsuoh
Rush @ Toyota Center
OWL/Sweat Lodge/Crime Wave/Peasant @ Mango’s


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