Track listing: Straight Into the Sun, Yesterday Morning, White BBQ Sauce, I Must Be the Devil, Jackeee, Rocket, After Party, Suicidal Friends, A Message From Firmin Desloge, Metanoia, Transcendental Road Blues, Bad She Gone Voodoo, If Looks Could Kill, Lee Harvey, Ruby Red, Candyman Blues, Can't Stop...Gotta' Rock!, That's Love, Derby Crush, Cleo's GoneSaustex Media’s latest sampler for 2012 has a variety of interesting bands, ranging from punk to blues influenced rock. The label, based out of San Antonio, Texas, signs bands that they “feel are interesting and/or important, regardless of its mainstream commercial viability,” according to their Facebook page.
The first band on the sampler is El Pathos, with the song “Straight Into the Sun” off of their latest release Hate and Love. The Austin-based group has a surf punk feel that is guaranteed to show they play for a good time, with their fast punk-style drum beats and surf guitar riffs.
The next track is "White BBQ Sauce" by Glambilly, whose music also falls into the punk genre featuring simplistic guitars and a good drum beat to get you dancing. While Glambilly may not garner huge national popularity with their music, they do really well in Central Texas, being based out of San Antonio.
Piñata Protest are up next, and while they continue the pattern of punk music featured throughout this sampler, this band is embodies the punk music and lifestyle the best. Their songs “Jackeee” and “Rocket” are both short and to the point and would make great songs to mosh to if you were to start a mosh pit at the old Emo's in downtown Austin.
The Creedence Clearwater resemblance for the next band, Snowbyrd, is apparent as the band changes the pace of the sampler for a few minutes and plays songs that sound like old time rock tunes that are pleasing to the ear. Their song “After Party” is easy to follow musically, and they are sure to be a hit with the older generation who grew up in the early years of rock and roll.
"A Message From Firmin Deslodge" by Churchwood sounds like a mixture of funk and punk, and has more of a different sound than anything heard thus far. After hearing a lot of the same things musically on this particular sampler, it is always refreshing to hear something that is a little bit off the beaten path.
Similarly different, Chief Fuzzer's “Transcendental Road Blues” is a five minute long tune that has a blues rock sound. Just from listening to the live track, it seems that Chief Fuzzer can keep the crowd engaged in their live show with little trouble. It will be interesting to hear what Chief Fuzzer comes out with in the future.
The next artist, T. Tex Edwards, sounds like hardcore punk with a hint of a 1980’s influence on “If Looks Could Kill.” T. Tex is different enough to appeal to someone who is looking for a good band with punk rock appeal.
A local Austin band who originally hail from Mexico, The Copper Gamins, play a mix of blues and rock with two songs from their EP The Copper Gamins: “Ruby Red” and “Candyman Blues,” a cover of blues legend Mississippi John Hurt. While I praise the band for completely going DIY (Do It Yourself) in recording their latest release, they are one of the worst bands to come out onto the music scene in recent years. For a band that plays their own instruments, it seems they took little care in making their recordings listenable to audiences. The group may have a hard time winning over new fans due to the sloppiness in recording their EP.
The last two groups on the sampler are Los #3 Dinners and The Gay Sportscasters. Both are talented with dance floor appeal, and have a rock sound that you would hear in many local clubs.
While not a totally unique compilation, for the most part the Saustex 2012 Sampler includes some promising bands worth a listen.