Fellow Americans, Burning Hotels

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Posted October 19, 2005 by Hearsay in Music

Update: One of North Texas’ punkingest, drinkingest, greasy-rock ‘n’ rollingest bands that hasn’t graced a stage in a while is actually still kicking, just under a new name.

The musicians formerly known as The Rio Grande Babies have spent the past couple-a months on hiatus, perfecting their brand of imperfect melodic noise in preparation for an LL Cool J-ish comeback. With a batch of new tunes and young Austin transplant Jeff Price on vocals, The Fellow Americans – based on a decent-quality recording of a recent rehearsal – have retained RGB’s guitar bite and punchy rhythms. The group has also realized that strong hooks can buoy a song as well as if not better than merely screamed choruses.

In another sign of musical maturity, the arrangements are constructed from lines and riffs that don’t always match – sometimes as a riff motors along in one direction, a bass line will march to its own beat down an entirely different path. The magic happens when the elements blend together, even though they’re not trying to. Not just any rock outfit can pull off similarly complicated song-DNA – and certainly not as effortlessly as the Fellow Americans apparently can. The best part: The band, according to Price, is hungry. They play their first major gig Sat., at the Wreck Room (3208 W 7th St, in Fort Worth; 817-348-8303), with Ellus and Sunward.

… The Me-Thinks are probably my favorite hard-rock band in town, not just ’cause they’re fucked-up – they’re stoners too. Their appearance last week on “The Good Show” (every Sunday from 9 p.m. ’til midnight on KTCU/88.7-FM) was notable not for all the on-air giggling but for the radio debut of the band’s side project, Napoleon Complex (which host Tom Urquhart kept referring to as “Napoleon Dynamite”). Soft where the Me-Thinks are hard and sludgy, the Complex might be the only local band capable of opening for the Me-Thinks and not getting blown off the stage. Download an MP3 file of the program at www.goodshow.net. Look for the Complex’s songs, “God Bless Haltom City” and “Blood Bath and Beyond.”

… Two of town’s coolest new groups are worth mentioning for diverse reasons: The Brokers serve up chill, old-school ska-like stuff, and, while some of the songs sound same-y in a down-tempo manner, the band still manages to keep bodies moving by churning out the skippy beats (courtesy of bad-ass drummer Eddie Yacula). I’ve only seen the Brokers live and haven’t heard any of their recorded music yet. Of a new band whose recorded music I have heard but haven’t seen live, I would say The Burning Hotels may be one of town’s coolest bands period (new or not). Featuring Chance Morgan of The February Chorus along with Matt Moody and Wyatt Adams, the sound betrays a lot of early punk influences but isn’t bratty; it’s also thick but lighter than air, and complex in certain spots but never clever. We’ll tell you how to get a hold of the Hotels or where to see ‘em once we find out. The Brokers’ next show is Sat., Nov. 12, at Axis (120 S Main St, in Cowtown; 817-870-AXIS).

… This Saturday, Spoonfed Tribe makes a pit-stop at Ridglea Theater (6025 Camp Bowie Blvd; 817-738-9500), while in the middle of a decent-sized tour of the Left Coast. With Confusatron and See People.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.


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