Last week, fellow Weekly columnist Last Call wrote a valentine to a relatively new sports bar, Rock Star, out on South I-35 in the shack formerly occupied by the Penalty Box. In the column (“High Speed on Ice,” May 18), my compatriot went to great pains (and through many words) to locate the source of his affection.
He traced it back to the late-1980s, when he was finishing high school, captaining the state-champion football team, and listening to hair-metal. The most popular type of music among white dudes from blue-collar, Northern homesteads like his, hair-metal was a style whose DNA of bulging Spandex, muscular arpeggios, and plumages of hair contained a trait that only recently evolved from submissive to dominant: cheesiness. There’s a reason why hair-metal acts of yore, like Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and Poison, are enjoying a resurgence of sorts.
Time – and sobriety, and, while we’re at it, adulthood – have stripped Def-Lep and company of their once-plausible, once-fearsome ‘tudes to reveal nothing but poses beneath. (And beneath the bulging Spandex: rolled-up tube socks.) Last Call also was warmed by the fact that at Rock Star during his visit, the NHL playoffs were on the tube, a refreshing change of pace here in Mavericks Country, especially for a thirtysomething originally from the Snow – and Ice, and Rust – Belt. I totally get where he’s coming from, but I’d also like to add that along with hair-metal, prog-rock also levied a pretty significant influence on Yankee dudes. Now I’m not saying that Addnerim is even trying to stumble around in Tommy Lee’s stinky high-tops or that The Underground Railroad is trying to usurp King Crimson’s crown.
But both local bands favor muscular musicianship, the one ingredient that unites metal and prog. I guess you could consider the two local bands inheritors of the two antiquated styles’ myriad winning qualities (i.e., strong melodies, killer riffs, inventive rhythms). Led by guitarist Bill Pohl, UR is a prog band in the best sense of the term but also has some jam-band tendencies. Addnerim, led by shredder Tyrel Choat, is classic metal at its best, extended guitar solos and all. None of that growling, angry-young-man stuff. Just straight-ahead, heavy melodicism. UR and Addnerim perform Saturday at Rock Star, 7120 S. Fwy. Call 817-293-2606 or visit MySpace.com/TheUndergroundRailroadTX or MySpace.com/Addnerim. Tell Last Call I said what’s up.
… UR keyboardist Kurt Rongey, who’s also the program director and an afternoon host at WRR Classical 101.1-FM, has released his third solo album, With Form It Threatens Silence, and it is available only in digital format, at Mindawn.com. (Customers who download the album can have cover art e-mailed to them.) Customers will soon be able to preview tracks in full three times before making any purchases. Hopefully, the list of demos available from the album will include the 23-minute closer “Kunstwolle,” an exploration, according to a post on his web site, of “man’s growing mastery over his own evolution.” Rongey calls it “the most ambitious single track” that he’s ever attempted. All of the instrumental parts, according to the post, were recorded in 1993, with the minor exception of “Kunstwolle,” which underwent a few revisions a couple of years later. Visit MySpace.com/KurtRongey.
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