Ground Zero Texas this Week in Austin

Hex Dispensers Live at Stork Club 2007 photo by <a href=
Hex Dispensers Live at Stork Club 2007 photo by Canderson
posted Wednesday Dec 5th, 2007

The Ground Zero Texas music festival gets underway today in Austin and features an astounding line up. Whether the name of the festival pays homage to the early 90s Sega full-motion video game, or a loose declaration to the state's importance in underground music over the past couple of decades, doesn't really matter because by the close of the weekend it will leave an inevitable rock'n'roll skid mark across the Lone Star State that will take a million Miranda Lamberts to clean up.

The ball gets rolling Thursday night at Beerland with Mobile Alabama's Hibachi Stranglers, whose echo-soaked vocals and retardo guitar slop peaked the interest of many drooling raff 'n'roll fans this past year with their debut on Florida's Dying. Wax Museums, playing with a similar sound are up next, and as the accolades mount, this Denton, Texas quartet who have a full-length LP due out on the near horizon on Douche Master Records, you can bet that their steamroll of glorious sub-standard punk is quickly raising the bar for jackleg musical brilliance everywhere. Also performing Thursday's showcase are Cheap Time, Nobunny and The Spits, who have become all-around favorites, and festival mainstays.

The special treat Thursday night is The Reds, the Texas natives and Rip Off recording artists, whose blasts of pop-angled punk brought many to the realization that hooky songs don't necessarily have to be hokey. Releasing just a couple of albums at the dawn of the century, the band called it quits after bassist Chris Pulliam pulled up his Denton, Texas stakes and headed for Japan. As most of you may already know, in the wake of their breakup, the remaining members formed the formidable Marked Men.

Friday's events will turn out to be quite a drainer, getting started during the day at the Skatepark of Austin with performances by The Spits, Tunnel of Love, Hex Dispensers, and Cheap Time. Friday night back at Beerland promises a night filled with spilled drinks, rambunctiousness, and regretful judgment calls with a line up that features the two bookends of beer-spraying fervor in the rock'n'roll arena, Tunnel of Love and a legendary band of august personage, Bad Times. It's hard to imagine that an act with so many subterrestrial luminaries even exists, let alone are able to come together to head-off a festival. Featuring Jay Reatard (the newest Matador act), Eric Oblivian, a none other than King Louie, Bad Times may be one of the most star-studded bands of all subversionary rock'n'roll. Openers, The Barbaras will set the evening right with their perfectly addictive, candied bubble-pop, and always guarantee a great time.

Saturday night you're gonna be a little worn out, and after the first two nights' offerings it's understandable, but you only live this stupid life once so the suck it up because you have a night of full-throttle tonal assault. Including the crippling and blaring Texas outfit, Total Abuse, the Providence, Rhode Island act Snake Apartment, and wrapping it up with the Sub Pop band, Pissed Jeans.

If you survive and make it to Sunday, be sure to catch Austin's best example of drug references and blasting hardcore, The Teeners. Playing music that's breakneck and treacherous, they'll be interesting to see on the same bill as Hex Despensers, whose hit "Forest Ray Colson" is this generation's "Hillside Strangler," just more melodious. For a complete line up, check our Austin listings HERE.

Check out the Wax Museums music video for "Cowboys and Indians" right here...