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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Sound Check: Texas proves it’s big enough for all types of music

Mike Damante


What sets O’Pioneers apart from their peers is the fact that they don’t sound like they’re a local act. O’Pioneers has a strong Midwestern punk-rock sound, making you wonder if they were raised on The Lawrence Arms and Dillinger Four, rather the likes of 30footfall and Fenix TX. The band is the brainchild of guitarist Eric Solomon, who, besides fronting the band, promotes shows for I Heart U Productions and can frequently be seen at other shows as well.

The band’s popularity is steadily growing outside of the Punknews.org crowd, as Alternative Press magazine has taken notice. With a split with Bomb the Music Industry and a vinyl release on Asian Man Records under its belt, it is only a matter of time before O’Pioneers graduate from the slim, local talent pool of bands to opening for their influences.

Catch O’Pioneers April 12 at the Westheimer Block Party.

Fat Tony

Don’t write off Fat Tony as another Houston rapper trying to blow up like Paul Wall. Fat Tony has a diverse musical taste ranging from OutKast to The Smiths, and you can hear it in his music.

Intelligent rhymes and a keen sense of worldliness show musical maturity light years beyond those who only listen to radio rap. His rhyme schemes have confidence, but never come across as cocky and overcompensating for lack of substance. There is something fresh and organic in his music and his approach/mantra of "loving life."

Fat Tony will also be performing April 12 at the Westheimer Block Party.

Roshan Bhatt

Ghostland Observatory

It’s hard to fit Ghostland Observatory into a single genre, but the Austin duo takes influences from electro, pop and rock. Also notable is this band’s huge soul influence. Singer Aaron Behrens has a sassy and lively voice and plays guitar, drummer/synth player Thomas Ross Turner provides the beats, and both have an eccentric stage presence (for example, check out Live from Austin, TX).

The group released its third full length, Robotique Mystique, in early March, and will be on the standard hipster Album of the Year list come December. On their Myspace page, the two describe their sound as "a robot making love to a tree." If this statement doesn’t spark interest in the band, what will?

Tiger Lou

Tiger Lou is the brainchild of singer-songwriter Rasmus Kellerman, who writes and records most of the group’s studio work himself. Hailing from Sweden, Tiger Lou recently landed a record deal here in the States with Indie powerhouse Eyeball Records. Eyeball is responsible for the launch of Thursday and My Chemical Romance, and is the current home of Pompeii.

The group re-released its 2005 album, The Loyal, in early February, which is truly stunning. The dark and brooding indie-rock infused with electronics gives the album a very atmospheric feel. Tiger Lou is destined to be a hit on the playlist of fans of Muse and Interpol.

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