When they started out about a year ago, the Red Herrings were three guys with some moderately respectable indie cred – bassist Coby Queen, for one, was late of The Burning Hotels, the Fort Worth band with probably the most indie respect around.
But unlike the Hotels and a few other recent indie super-groups (The Lifters, Stella Rose, Jefferson Colby), the Red Herrings’ big coming out party went largely unheralded – and arguably for good reason. The tunes were dirty enough, incorporating the fuzzy riffage and punch-and-stomp drumming of The White Stripes and The Black Keys. But they never seemed to go anywhere and, taken in large doses, tended to sound sort of same-y, which is never a good thing. Worst of all, there was something about the trio’s aloofness and enormous reserves of seriousness that turned crowds off.
A few months and a couple of permutations later, and Red Herrings co-songwriters, drummer Matt Lombard and guitarist-vocalist Joe Hill, seem to have become the band they always knew they’d be. Now with Danna Hill on bass and Jordan Ricaurte on guitar, the Red Herrings Redux recently dropped a five-song EP, and it’s a beaut. Simple, elastic riffs are driven over bombastic bashing and are framed by surprisingly plain yet catchy vocal melodies. A lot of the songs also allow for emptiness and quietude, which, to me, is a sign of songwriters who’re all grow’d-up.
I must admit: After I popped Eros Erros into my car stereo, I groaned – the first track is the weakest, in my opinion, and, thankfully, it’s the only sour spot on the CD. The more time I spend with it, the better it gets. Along with Zappata and Austin-Fort Worth’s Frontier Brothers, the Red Herrings play Friday at The Moon, 2911 W. Berry St., near TCU. For more info, call the club at 817-926-9600 or visit www.themoonbar.com or www.myspace.com/redherrings. … Rockstar Sports Bar may seem like your average boys’ tree house.
There’s sports paraphernalia everywhere, the clientele is mostly dudes, and the bands that play there are pretty much all heavy. But for a tough joint, the service is exceptionally friendly, and the two regulars I’m acquainted with would rather talk philosophy and film than fantasy football stats. (I should say “rather than just fantasy football stats.”) On Saturday, Rockstar brings in the Texas Metal Alliance and friends for a show to benefit 89.3-FM/KNON, one of the only spots on the radio dial that sets aside time to spin local and national metal, among other things not found anywhere else on the regional broadcast airwaves.
Playing alongside TMA will be Creophagy, Violent Intentions, and Cauldron, featuring TMA’s Varnam Ponville, singer-guitarist of local legend Gammacide. The station will broadcast live at Rockstar from midnight ’til 2 a.m., which will allow host/DJ Raven of KNON’s The Dungeon show to air only Cauldron. Still, a solid metal concert for a pillar of the arts community at a club that is tough enough not to have to pretend to be tough – it stands to be worth the donation, whatever the amount turns out to be. Doors open at 7pm at 7120 S. Fwy. For more info, call the club at 817-293-2606 or visit www.myspace.com/rockstarsportsbar or www.myspace.com/texasmetalalliance.
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