By Andrew Nogay
MR Fest Press Team
As part of MR Fest 2016, Superfly’s Records opened its doors for music almost all of Saturday. From 1-9 p.m. there was live music from 11 fantastic bands. The lineup began with Fly Coco, then Sloe Your Roll, White Dog, Junkie, Corusco, Typical Girl, Muff, Tamaron, Dry Spell, Mantra Love and Comforter. The lineup was killer, and the venue was great. Superflys was able to make a good amount of room for the bands so it never felt constricted. Being in a record store also gives a person a lot to do between sets, including checking out music while waiting for music!
Record Store Day also happened recently, so Superfly’s was chalked full of cool and unique RSD-exclusive vinyl. There was the Sacred Bones Sampler, a reissue of Jay Reatard’s Blood Visions on clear red vinyl and, most importantly, a Gwar album! There were a lot of things to go through at this venue, starting with…
Fly Coco is a indie rock band from San Marcos, where all the members other than their singer/drummer Hayden attend Texas State. They were actually interviewed on KTSW’s Other Side Drive a few weeks ago, though the band themselves are cool. I’ve seen Fly Coco a few times, and they have never sounded tighter than they did today. Their loud/soft dynamic was truly incredible, the vocals/instrument mix was great, and the cymbals in particular hit hard. They actually released an EP today titled What You Are, which is the same song they started their set off with. Overall it was a great set, and the crowd was livelier than you ever see at a 1 in the afternoon show. Early on Colin, the guitarist/singer, said that “being surrounded by vinyl and playing…not vinyl” seemed right and at the risk of sounding cheesier than H-E-B brand Cheese Balls, their set seemed right too.
Sloe Your Roll
Sloe Your Roll is a three-piece jam/funk band from San Marcos, who continued the show after Fly Coco. They absolutely killed it, their musicianship was beyond being just technically proficient. Their set was solidified in the first song, when the singer performed a sick harmonica solo out of nowhere. They were just always attacking, there was always something propelling their music. Between the groovy bits, they actually got very loud, just one thing that made them unique from other funk rock bands. One thing that comes with the style that Sloe Your Roll hit spot on was the sound of the bass, which was put through enough effects to make it sound funky to the max. An interesting thing was that the drums didn’t necessarily remind me of a straight funk drum style, giving their music an added bonus. They didn’t play many songs, but the few they performed did not drag. They ended on a Santana cover, which they knocked out of the park.
Out of all the vinyl in Superflys for Record Store Day, one stood out to me the most: GWAR’s Scumdogs of the Universe. The album includes such classics as “Slaughterama” and “Sexecutioner.” Somehow, out of all the leftover record day vinyl, they had the most copies of that album. Obviously this is because they must have ordered about twice as much GWAR than any other artist. I would have.
White Dog is a good-old fashioned rock band from Austin, and they seem right out of the ‘70s. They literally might be. According to their bandcamp, “in the year 1971, the members of White Dog were cryogenically frozen and sealed away in a highly classified, underground facility. In accordance with a directive, put forth by then president of the United States of America, Richard Milhous Nixon, intent on preventing world domination and mass hysteria.” They played the first KTSW Third Thursday of this semester, and they were as fantastic as their collective hair, which is saying something. At this show, their style of classic hard rock and blues captivated the large crowd, which had been steadily gaining numbers as the day went on. Some anecdotes of note: their bassist uses a finger-picking style, which gave it a nice sound; this may seem sacrilegious, but the singer’s vocals remind me a bit of Robert Plant or David Lee Roth; one of the guitarists had one of those sick flying-V guitars, I was jealous; the singer barely said a word between songs, though he did smile a lot; did I mention the hair?
Junkie is a garage pop punk rock band, and this was their first time they’ve played in San Marcos. They certainly brought the energy, from the guitarist Evan who wasn’t still for a second, to the drums that were always propulsive. The vocals were minimal, with a few songs having little more than a “whoo!,” but that’s all they needed. Junkie were fast, upbeat, and local pop punk expert Josh Ramirez said they were reminiscent of Pup. The crowd absolutely loved them, noticed by the continued dancing throughout their set.
Corusco is an indie “post-grad” band from College Station, and they’re familiar to KTSW since they were also interviewed a few months ago on Other Side Drive.When my partner and I interviewed them, Aaron, the singer, played a few acoustic songs. When they played as a full band at Superflys, Corusco was much louder than I anticipated. Their vocals are still solid gold, and they remain very emotive.They were energetic, and they obviously had a lot of fun playing. One thing of note was that during their set, the drummer broke his snare drum, but decided to play through it, which was interesting. The pop of their sound shined bright, even as they played on their loud/soft dynamic. They reminded me a bit of Heatmiser, which is high praise considering how much I love Elliott Smith.
Typical Girls are a San Marcos-native band, who currently have two EPs out. They play a unique style of shoegaze, with a lot of minimalist and pop influences thrown in. They were the first band to play at Superflys and incorporate an instrument other than bass, guitar and drums, since they had a keyboardist. The timing to their songs was incredible, the start/stop was always on point. They also let their songs ride out to its conclusion very satisfyingly, and the beat to their music was constant. The largest crowd of the day to this point belonged to Typical Girls, and they deserved it. One of the funnier things about their set was that the guitarist wore a t-shirt of plans to the Death Star, which was pretty dope.
Muff is a San Marcos garage outfit that recently put out a full-length album, which costs $6.66 (hail Satan,) and they rocked out hard at Superflys. They reminded me of a band that would hail from Washington state, you could definitely hear the early garage and grunge influence in them. The bass had a real dirty sound, and their sound in general was very raw. Some of their songs were Joy Division-like in their buildup, and it was all very hypnotic. Rachel LaCross’ vocals were laid back, which was a nice contrast to their intense sound.
Some lame people were less excited about GWAR than they should be, but let it be known: GWAR was easily one of the stars of this day at Superflys. Did you know GWAR has a brand of barbeque sauce called GWAR B-Q Sauce? Man they’re so cool.
Tamarron came from Austin, and it seemed like they have a multitude of musical influences. They would classify best as a sort of psych band, which has a lot to do with their guitar effects. But their drums and bass had a sort of shoegaze vibe, the vocals were straight psychedelic rock, and the keyboards (that’s right, two bands with keyboards!) gave them a bit of a pop edge. Either way, reverb was heavily involved. Their songs were entrancing, but never got stale, since they were able to keep up the energy throughout their set. Plus their profile picture on bandcamp is easily one of the best things I’ve seen today.
Dry Spell shares a few members with Tamarron, so it’s fitting that they play back-to-back, though the two bands have differing styles. Dry Spell reminded me of a classic ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll band done through a shoegaze filter. Their songs were finely constructed, with vocals that were soft and emotive. What I was emotive about was how, for no apparent reason, nearly half of the dudes in the audience were wearing hats. It was overall pretty confusing. Not as confusing as how GWAR trading cards weren’t more popular, but still pretty confuzzling. Either way, Dry Spell played a great set.
I’ve seen Mantra Love a few times, and they never disappoint. They’re a real groovy three-piece indie band from Houston, and they’re as talented with their instruments as they are creating a unique sound. Between the dynamics of their music, there is always a solid groove weaving in through their songs. There is not much to report other than that Mantra Love was great, and their singer pulled off a Hawaiian shirt, so many props to him.
On their Facebook, Comforter says their genre is “pedestrian,” but they were more “vehicular” in my opinion, as in they kept their set moving no matter what. Was that cheesy? Absolutely, but it’s not any less true. There were some technical issues early on, but they powered through and played a great set. They were a very bouncy-sounding indie band, with driving bass lines and a splatter of harmonies. They had the same singer as Dry Spell, and the double-duty he pulled was impressive. He burped into the microphone at one point, which has nothing to do with anything, but I just thought it was funny. The guitarist also started playing keyboards in a song near the end of their set, which came outta nowhere, but was still enjoyable. Nearly as enjoyable as GWAR.
Superfly’s was packed with people and records during MR Fest this year. Be sure to check out MR Fest next year!