Tuesday, February 3, 2015

North Texas Bands That Are Cool.

For every city and scene there are always innumerable amounts of bands that flow and keep a community together. There are bad bands in this, always, but there are always the bands that are a cut above anything else around. This applies heavily to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area resting in North Texas. I'm no journalist, but I am an opinionated asshole. And below are the bands I feel need to be on everyone's radar from North Texas. There are others around too, many of them but these are a taste of what we have here

1. Bad Times (Denton)-Power Pop from Denton, catchy, well written and an all around fun band to see. The word that I've heard is that the band formed around the time Star Commander broke up, replacing the guitarist/vocalist with a new guitarist vocalist. I've seen them twice and I wish I could see them so much more. 

2. Baring Teeth (Dallas)-Baring Teeth is a technical death metal band formed in 2007 as Soviet, they changed their name to the current moniker in 2009. The band's sound is rooted in later era Gorguts style tech-death and is not for the feint of heart. To date the band has two full lengths out on prestigious metal label Willotip Records. But dear fucking god are these dudes talented musicians.

3. Blank Men (Fort Worth[?])-Blank Men to me sort of came out of left field last year, this band features Alex from Bad Times and is shameless early Devo-worship. My thoughts sitting here right now writing this is why doesn't anyone book this band on more shows? The band's sound is fun and infectiously catchy. Please, NTX put this band on more shows!

4. Bludded Head (Denton)-Is a drone band from Denton, and over the years has had many line-up shifts but with guitarist/vocalist Nevada Hill always remaining at the creative helm of this band. The style can be described as akin to Earth or Burning Witch in it's lurching, screeched out way. The band has always had a very interesting presentation of art work and aesthetic as well.  

5. Bukkake Moms (Denton)-Artsy, weird and sexual math rock meets noise rock in a blended, sloppy mess. Bukkake Moms started off being from McKinney before relocating to Denton when members began school. The group almost never plays with the same line-up of musicians from show to show and that adds to the fun of this band. Their musical output has been as relentless as their live shows. 

6. Cara Neir (Arlington)-Cara Neir is a duo from Arlington playing a visceral mess of Grindcore, Skramz, and Black Metal with a hint of crust thrown in. The band is a studio only project at the time and has had an insane amount of releases put out, many of which have been met with critical acclaim. There has been talk of the band becoming a live act in the last year with members of Flesh Born volunteering to make it happen, but to date this has been no more developments in this.

7. Cerulean Giallo (Denton)-Cerulean Giallo is a psychedelic rock mess from Denton incorporating elements from Black Metal, Dark Ambient, Prog Rock and Horror Movie soundtracks. Formed with the stagnation of Black Metal band Depths of Denton the duo have been playing ever since taking gradual steps into weirder and weirder territories, in 2013 annexing keyboard player, Sara Ruth into the group. One of the interesting elements of this band is the annual Visceral Cuts project they undergo (something they've kept up for 3 years now)

8. Clear Acid (Fort Worth)-Began in 2013 as an instrumental post rock band akin to This Will Destroy You the band has been drifting into dirtier territories adding hints of sludge metal into the mix. The group tirelessly plays North Texas and is working towards a debut album on Tofu Carnage Records.

9. Cleric (Dallas)-Cleric is a long running Death Metal band from Dallas playing in the style of early 90s Swedish Death/Doom the band is crushing in their performance and riffs. The band formed in 2007, folded in 2009 and reformed 2011 with a new vocalist, and in 2013 released their debut album on Tofu Carnage records.

10. Collick (Denton/Fort Worth)-Collick is another long running North Texas band having just completed their first tour as well as kick starting their own record label. The band's sound is rooted in early DC Emotive Hardcore, and the band does it exceptionally well. Keep an eye out for their debut LP sometime in the next year.

11. Flesh Born (Denton)-Formed in 2013 as Elesh Norn, the band initially sounded a little like a continuation of Miles and Parker's project Father Figure. With 2014 came a name change and a change in sound. The resulting shift took more of a metal direction while keeping the Skramz roots of the group around. Upon the release of their EP "Han" in the spring of 2014 the band was solidified. This band is a mass of energy live an will get you pumped as fuck.

12. Giant of the Mountain (Plano)-Giant of the Mountain is a trio from Plano having been around since approximately 2010. The band has shifted through numerous line-up changes finally having settled in in 2013. The band's style bends progressive rock elements with Sludge, Doom, and Black Metal with a Lovecraftian overtone that drenches the band's atmosphere in a sense of complete dread. The bands' 2014 album, Moon Worship, was one of my favorite releases of the year for it's shifts and movements. This band plays in the area a lot and catch them around.

13. Hanging (Fort Worth)-Hanging is a group of high schoolers from Fort Worth playing 80's influenced punk. The band is the right amount of sloppy and I see a bright future ahead of these youngsters.

14. Innards (Fort Worth)-Innards are a long running, Skramz band out of Fort Worth, while live appearances aren't all that common at this time, when they do happen it goes off. The band holds a regard in my heart as one of the earliest really good "1919" bands I ever found. The energy and emotion the band puts into each set is phenomenal. 

15. Lacerations (Dallas)-This band came straight out of left field last spring, and after a year people are keyed into that this band is the real deal. Lacerations plays in a classic US/midwestern style of punk akin to Necros. They produced a demo last summer and are about to go forth on a tour with Slimy Member through the Midwest.

16. Litigators (Fort Worth/Denton)-Litigators formed in 2013 to little fanfare and it took me nearly a year to finally see them. The group plays a strange style of punk, one going as far to call them "progressive". The band has delved into hiatus while Collick has been on tour and cooking up an album. 

17. Mimisiku (Denton)-Formed in the Fall of 2014 Mimisiku has been playing relentlessly since their forming. The band has been compared to the likes of Texas Is The Reason and is a good blend of Emo and Indie. Still waiting on the demo to drop but you know it will be fire.

18. Night Crimes (Denton/Fort Worth)-Jokingly described as "Fast Hardcore By Slow Dudes" Night Crimes has been blazing along at light speed since forming in Fall of 2012. The band's members are all spread out in other bands so a performance from the group is rare and generally under 8 minutes. The put a demo out in 2013 and are working towards a second tape.

19. Nite Shadez (Denton)-Nite Shadez is a Electonic/ambient duo having been around for a minute. The band performs what they call a sound collage and no one performance is ever the same. I've caught this band once and was completely blown away by what I heard. 

20. Parantumaton (Dallas)-Parantumaton formed in 2012 and prior to the summer of 2014 had played 2 shows, this was due to a member living in New York for a time. They play a fast Japanese style of d-beat that rarely lets up or slows down. I've heard many times that the group has recordings (I seem to remember finding a soundcloud once) but no physical release has surfaced.

21 Pavel Checkov (Dallas)-Still a relatively new band, Pavel Checkov is a Powerviolence band from Dallas playing a straight up Spazz/Charles Bronson worship. The members of this band mostly come out of a thrash metal background, so seeing this band come out was a surprise. Since their formation the band has already written and released three tapes worth of material and it is all solid. Stoked to see this band on more shows to come.

 22. Pissed Grave (Dallas)-Formed in 2012 at the demise of the band Guiso, Pissed Grave hit the ground running. Stylistically the band plays a crust influenced grindcore not too far off from what Disrupt played but more recently the band has added more straight forward punk elements into the mix. Recently the band dropped a tape that is pure fire.

23. Plunge (Denton)-I have seen this band play a stoner metal cover of a Rush song, if you don't think that is the shit, get the hell out. But Plunge is a band that formed in 2014 out of the trio's love of weed and sludge metal. The resulting band is pure riff worship done in the best way possible. I just put their tape out, headbanging is mandatory.

24. Sin Motivo (Denton/Fort Worth)-When the band formed in late 2012 they described themselves as "Hardcore for the Weird", an apt description yes but it does not do the band and their sound justice. Visceral, chaotic and adventurous is the band's sound, throw in some of the most educated and well written lyrics spat out in spanish and you have Sin Motivo. The band was a centerpiece of a 2013 punk renaissance in North Texas and is about to drop one of the best LPs of 2015. Get ready//get weird.

25. Slimy Member (Dallas)-The band's name comes from a Rudimentary Peni song and the band's sound is not too far off from that. Gloomy and laden with pogo punk beats the band is one of the more underrated new bands out of DFW in the last year and it seems they are getting some of the credit they deserve. They're about to go through the midwest with Lacerations, catch them out there on the road!

26. Smear (Denison)-Denison, Texas is not the kind of town you would expect to produce any music other than county, let alone a punk band of this caliber. The band formed as a solo project of guitarist/vocalist, Austin Waymire, in the summer of 2013 and wound up drafting in his bandmates from his band Fairbanks. Smear plays a straightforward, ignorant and moshy style of punk, recorded and played in a blown out mess. The band received little fanfare upon forming and really until recently hasn't been playing too many shows. I've released two tapes for this band.

27. Steel Bearing Hand (Dallas)-When Retro-thrash was still a big thing I always remembered wanting to hear more bands that played the Death/Thrash, "evil" style and it wasn't until I saw SBH in 2011 that my little young metalhead prayers were answered. Playing a fast and visceral thrash with death metal leanings and lyrics of the power of metal SBH plows straight through you. This band has toured many times and is about to drop an LP that I'm sure will slay. KNEAL BEFORE THE STEEL.

28. T.B.A. (Fort Worth)-And the vote for most confusing band name ever goes to. But seriously T.B.A. is another band that formed in the fall of 2014 and plays a fast hardcore that sounds like if you made the vocals on Limp Wrist squeakier. Last I heard a demo is in the works, but the group plays pretty often, but be warned, be late and miss them entirely.

29. Terminator 2 (Denton)-This is quite possibly the loudest band on this list. T2 is from Denton and plays Sludge Metal with Power Electronics/Noise thrown in the mix. The band is a bass and drum so the noise sort of assumes a roll of guitar in the band. Never have I seen a disappointing set from this band, they always deliver the riffs and the general feeling of dread.

30. The Earth Dies Screaming (Denton)-Grindy Skramz out of Denton, formed in the spring of 2014 with the demise of Progressive Metal band Megatherian. The band and their sound is a very obvious representation of each of the member's styles. Upon forming the band hit the ground running with a demo and a tour three months after their first show. More material is in the works.

31. The Sentenced (Denton/Fort Worth)-Boot stomping, angry hardcore formed in 2013. This band's first show is still what I consider to be one of the best North Texas shows that I was ever apart of. The Sentenced has just returned from a massive east coast tour, and has just solidified themselves as a mainstay of current punk.

 32. Tolar (Dallas)-North Texas D-Beat warriors! Tolar has been around longer than any band on this list, they were around for so long and toured so much that they had to call it quits for a while only to reunite in the summer of 2013 angrier than ever. Originally their sound was straight forward D-Beat but the band's sound has drifted further into metal territory and tightened up immensely. Catch them on tour this March with Steel Bearing Hand

 33. Treatment (Denton)-Treatment is young Leach's first band and is a frat stomping pogo punk band akin to the NYC Toxic State bands. While the band has a demo out and just finished their tour with The Sentenced, the band's time is almost up. Catch their final show with Beta Boys in Denton.

34. Two Knights (Denton)-Two Knights is Miles DeBruin and Parker Lawson, it always has been and always will be. The duo has been around under this name since they were both still in high school and has changed much since the start, but is always evolving with the duo and their lifes. The band has put out a pair of records that have achieved some underground success in the last year and have toured extensively. I love you Parker.

35. Tyrannosorceress (Dallas)-Tyrannosorceress is a ritualistic black metal band from Dallas. The group blends elements of doom into their crushing sound and presence. Their three song demo has been on strong rotation for me since I got it back in 2011. Unfortunately that is their only recorded material to date, they've been teasing of an LP for three years now, I hope it comes to be something soon.

36. What They Lack (Fort Worth)-Formed as Negaduck, then changed to High Anxieties, High Anxieties broke up but 3/4 of the band wanted to continue. The continuation manifested as What They Lack, while High Anxieties was upbeat fast punk What They Lack takes an emotional turn in the Revolution Summer style of punk. They have a demo out and are working towards a 7" in the future.