Austin360 On The Record: Xetas, Brown Whornet, Peterson Brothers
Xetas, “The Cypher” (12XU). One of Austin’s best punk bands of the past decade, Xetas charges into the 2020s with its third full-length release. A primal power trio (but without the prog leanings that term can imply), Xetas churns out waves of glorious noise with boundless energy, keeping everything tight and together even as they push hard toward breaking it all apart. Guitarist David Petro, bassist Kana Harrs and drummer Jay Dilick all sing, which helps to broaden the band’s sound and identity. Every song on “The Cypher” has a two-word title beginning with “The” (“The Doctor,” “The Martyr,” “The Witness,” “The Teacher,” etc.), suggesting there’s some sort of overarching concept at work here. If so, it’s not presented with pretension; it’s natural enough to appreciate this record just for its raw musical force. The band co-produced “The Cypher” with John Michael Landon at Austin’s Estuary Recording studio. Release show Jan. 24 at Barracuda. Here’s the video for “The Objector”:
Brown Whornet, “Doctor Dickle.” Austin’s weirdest band? There’s plenty of competition in the city that made keeping it weird a motto, but it’s hard to fathom anything further out there than this 57-minute self-described “psychedelic concept album.” Is this even music? Well, much of it is, but some of “Doctor Dickle” consists of conversations between the title character and his patients about subjects that range from the bizarre to the scatological. (A sample of song titles: “The Bathroom,” “Fartliter,” “Poopin’ in Your Pants.”) As for the musical content, you certainly couldn’t classify this as any recognizable genre save for simply outsider music, though there’s probably more elements of experimental jazz in what they do than anything. Far-out as Brown Whornet may be, they’ve been doing this for 27 years now, so something must be working. Release show Jan. 25 at Empire.
Peterson Brothers, “The Intro” EP. This six-song set is the siblings’ first release since their 2015 debut album, but the Petersons have been plenty busy in the meantime, honing their live show through a long-running Monday residency at the Continental Club and getting some prime national touring exposure with Gary Clark Jr. Now that guitarist Glenn and bassist Alex are finally both out of their teens (ages 22 and 20, respectively), the time is ripe for them to reach for another level, and “The Intro” (true to its name) seems designed toward that end. It’s easily divided into three types of tunes: There’s two groovin’ blues numbers, two romantic jazz-inflected ballads, and two instrumentals offering just a taste of the extended jams that mark the Petersons’ live shows. Backing up the brothers are Austin aces Brannen Temple on drums and Jonathan Deas on keyboards. Co-writers included New York keyboardist Ray Angry, renowned for his work with the Roots, and Austin soul master Tomar Williams of Tomar & the FCs. Release show Jan. 25 at Native Hostel.
JAN. 31: Possessed By Paul James, “As We Go Wandering,” release show Jan. 31 at Cactus Cafe.
JAN. 31: Cuckoos, “I Hate Love” (Jiggy Jig), in-store Jan. 30 at Waterloo Records.
JAN. 31: Don Harvey & A Is Red, “No Place to Fall: Live at the Townsend,” release show Jan. 31 at Townsend.
FEB. 1: Tomar & the FCs, “Rise Above,” release show Feb. 1 at Antone’s.
FEB. 7: Drew Fish Band, “Wishful Drinkin’,” pre-release show Feb. 1 at Stubb’s.
FEB. 7: James Steinle, “What I Came Here For” (Shotgun House), release show Feb. 8 at White Horse.
FEB. 14: Angelica Rahe, “Reina,” release show Feb. 14 at Mohawk.
FEB. 14: Star Parks, “The New Sounds of Late Capitalism” (Modern Outsider), in-store Feb. 14 at Waterloo Records, playing March 6 at Barracuda.
FEB. 14: Moonray, “Honeymoon” EP (Satellite).
MARCH 6: Tommy Rebel & the Righteous, “Renaissance Dude.”
MARCH 6: Panhandlers, self-titled (Next Waltz).
APRIL 3: Pike & Sutton, “Heart Is a Compass.”