Mike Damante ' Roshan Bhatt" />
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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Life + Arts

Upstart bands impress

Born Anchor

There are always a slew of local acts the can never escape the comfort of their own town and make it. The newly formed Born Anchor is off to a good start, avoiding the downfalls of so many small bands.’

For starters, Born Anchor took home first place at the Houston House of Blues showcase, coincidentally its first show.’ The band has also garnered fans in the Street Dogs, as Dogs’ bass player Johhny Rioux is slated to produce the band’s debut demo.

Born Anchor takes the East Bay style of Rancid and spins it with the punk rock’n’roll sound of Social Distortion. Simply put, Born Anchor plays gritty punk rock with heart.’

What sets Born Anchor apart from its peers is that they don’t recycle riffs from its influences, like so many acts do. Learn more about Born Anchor at the bands Web site, http://www.myspace.com/bornanchor.

The Blackmarket Syndicate’

While on the subject of good local punk, The Blackmarket Syndicate can’t be left out of the discussion. The band, formerly known as Deathbed Repentance, has opened for its heroes Rancid, TSOL and The Angry Samoans, just to name a few.’

There is a heavy worship of Social Distortion in The Blackmarket Syndicate’s style, which would seem like a logical fit for Hellcat Records.

‘ A rockabilly revival is also present in the band’s sound, making the listener want to brush the dust off their switchblade hair combs.

The band will be playing April 7 at Walters on Washington and April 19 at Scout Bar, as a part of Zakk United’s 94.5 Texas Buzz radio program. You can hear the band at http://www.myspace.com/theblackmarketsyndicate.

– Mike Damante

Francis and the Lights

Searching for Francis and the Lights on the internet will not yield many results.’

The highly mysterious Francis Starlight, the brains behind the New York City-based dance-funk-indie-pop group, has yet to make a name for his band, as it remains unsigned.’

The band has two EP releases under its belt – 2007’s Striking and 2008’s A Modern Promise, both of which the group released for free through their Web site http://blog.francisandthelights.com. Their sound is hard to pin, but integrating ’80s pop, funk, and soul is among their rap sheet.’

One of the most interesting things by far is the band’s cover of Kanye West’s ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing.’ Their personal interpretation on the ego anthem is definitely one for the books.’

Their live show is also worth mentioning, considering the band has posted a plethora of live music videos on their Web site as well. Starlight’s energetic performance and overall knack of being a charismatic and talented front man will hopefully take this band quite far. ‘

‘hellip;And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead

Recommending a band that has just released its sixth studio album is considerably lame, to be honest. However, with The Century of Self this Austin sextet has proved time and time again that they’ve yet to die out. ‘

The Trail of Dead’s noisy and ‘artsy’ approach to the post-punk genre is definitely peculiar.

Unlike the band’s past two albums that used click-tracks and overdubs, The Century of Self was recorded and tracked in a live setting, so the finished product is very raw and unpolished, creating a far more organic sound.’

Frontman Conrad Keely’s paintings and drawing can be found at http://www.trailofdead.com/artgallery. His latest creation is the album cover for The Century of Self.’

– Roshan Bhatt

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