It's been more than a year since Dallas proper last heard from Centro-matic, but that doesn't mean Will Johnson and Co. haven't been busy. As one might expect from the prolific Texans, a new double record—a split release from Centro-matic and its slower, atmospheric sister band South San Gabriel—sits nearly completed and awaiting release (a live, solo version of the new South San Gabriel song "Emma Jane" can be heard on Daytrotter.com). Until then fans can sate their appetites with the eight-song Operation Motorcide EP, a collection of leftovers from last year's Fort Recovery. From the ragged, piano-spiked title ballad to the fuzzed-out noisy blues of "Blood on the Floor," it's a welcome addition to Will Johnson's canon, made even sweeter by the return of Scott Danbom's triumphantly overdriven fiddle on "Daggers Sharp Enough."
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They'll be joined Friday by Fort Worth's Dove Hunter, a thinking man's jam band in the vein of Califone or My Morning Jacket that's easily the best new band in North Texas (sorry, Ghosthustler). And if recent shows are any indication, Centro-matic's Matt Pence might have one heck of a drum battle on his hands thanks to Dove Hunter skinsman Quincy Holloway, who propels frontman Jayson Wortham's angular folk songs into Zeppelin-worthy stomps. Throw in Pleasant Grove and promising young songstress Sarah Jaffe and you just might have the local show of the year.