By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Honky—with former Butthole Surfer Jeff Pinkus on the Flying V bass—is all neck tattoos, curly brim cowboy hats and distorted slide guitars, like punks who don't use the word "ironic" to explain owning Lynyrd Skynyrd records. Songs like "I'd Love to Smoke Yr Weed" are dumb, fun Southern rock at its best.
Speaking of ironic, every description of Hogpig I've read suggests their take on metallic classic rock is tongue-in-cheek. Maybe it's because I don't pay attention to their lyrics, or because I'm just not very smart, but they seem mostly straight-faced to me. Their music—all screams, complex riffs and chest-thumping drums—is all the better for it.
Mike Wiebe, singer for headlining Riverboat Gamblers, is in constant motion, leaping from amps, climbing up lighting rigs and inciting the crowd in ways that sometimes cross the line from acrobatic spectacle to life-threatening danger (read Josh Baish's account of one such instance in the article to the left if you think that's an exaggeration). But even if he was in a wheelchair, the precise two-guitar punk assault and shout-along chants would make the most cynical heart believe loud, hard and fast rock 'n' roll hasn't exhausted all its possibilities.
Music is from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., giving you plenty of time to make your way to Rubber Gloves for day two of its anniversary party.
This line from "Set the Speed" off Dixie Witch's Smoke and Mirrors CD is typical: "These days, don't know what to say/Seems like we lost that loving way." A singing drummer—damn good drummer, at that—is always fun to watch, but otherwise their rote hard rock doesn't do much for me.
Upside describe themselves as Texas party metal. They'll be fun if you're 17, drunk and still enjoy moshing to "whoa-oh-oh!" shouts, power chords and jerk-off guitar solos. The Feds aren't doing anything that hasn't been done by 1,000 other bands disguising three-chord pop songs with heavy guitar distortion and wah-wah soloing.