SXSW Overflow 2014: Day Six (The Littlest Viking, Sit Kitty Sit, & Drop Tank)

thelittlestviking1Yes, yes, yes. Here we are now at Day Six of the still-rolling-onwards SXSW Overflow Fest going on through next week (yes, a week later than SXSW itself) over at Ye Olde Land of the Super Happy Fun. Like last night, tonight’s a little sparse, surprisingly, in part because would-be headliners Jumpship Astronaut are no longer on the bill.

But eh, fuck it, because there’s still a handful of bands playing, it’s still cheap, and y’know, this shit is fun, right? Here we go:

THE LITTLEST VIKING: And right here is Case In Point #1. I got handed Whittier, CA, duo The Littlest Viking‘s self-titled second album last year and was pretty freaking floored by it, and y’know, you should be, too. Ruben Cortez and Christopher Gregory take every post-punk instro-rock influence you (well, I, anyway) can think of, grind ’em into powder, and then snort it while staring blissfully into the sun.

All hyperbole aside, these guys are truly monumental-sounding, playing indie-ish prog-rock that brings to mind aMINIATURE, The For Carnation, Scale The Summit, and Don Caballero, all at the same time. The music roars and surges like waves seeking a way through some rocky shore, always in motion while the world stands still (or at least appears to stand still) all around. There’s some badass shoegaze-tinged indie-rawk stuff going on in here, too, which reminds me of Sonic Youth or Arcwelder, either one, and makes me smile like an idiot whichever way it strikes me. Go see these guys. Seriously; you won’t be disappointed.

But hey, if you’re still not convinced, here’s what convinced me:


SIT KITTY SIT: Well, their Leesta Vall agency-mates Jumpship Astronaut may’ve bailed, but at least twosome Sit Kitty Sit have made it into town, all the way from San Francisco. (Well, as far as I’m aware, anyway…) That’s a good thing, because this quirky pair is intriguing as hell, halfway between slinky German cabaret pop and Tori Amos-ish morose piano meanderings; the latter’s what came to mind first when I heard Kat Downs and Mike Thompson doing their thing, but really there’s a far more dramatic, almost baroque thing going on here, with lots of complex, theatrical bits dancing in and out.

I guess the Dresden Dolls would probably be the closest analogue I can come up with, but even that doesn’t completely work — this is far prettier and less “vulgar,” for want of a better word, than the Dolls, and frankly, I’m liking it better than I ever have the Dolls, too. Take a listen:


DROP TANK: Closing out the night is yet another California band, making it a full-blown West Coast Trifecta with sleazy/sultry L.A. rockers Drop Tank. Actually, it turns out that some of the folks in the band are apparently originally from Australia, but eh, good enough; wherever they hail from originally, they play like an L.A. band, that’s for damn sure.

Specifically, they play like a band dropped out of time from those heady Sunset Strip days back in the ’80s and ’90s, when scuzzy, sweaty, unapologetically rock bands like Guns N’ Roses and Mötley Crue ruled the stages and darkened corners — they make me think weirdly of long-forgotten rockers Leatherwolf more than anything else. They’re kinda-sorta metal but not, if you get my meaning, focusing less on speed or heaviness and more on blues-tinged riffs and spit-in-your-face lyrics, and yep, it pretty much works. See for yourself:


And that’s it for now, people. More on their way; I’m going to be offline for quite a bit of next week, though, so I’ll try to double-up on the next couple of updates…

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