It’s that time of year again. Chaos in Tejas, the best weekend (four days?) ever is approaching and with it, the challenge of crafting a kickass schedule. How organizer Timmy Hefner pulls off this fest—and makes it bigger and better than ever with each year—is beyond me. (Did you guys hear DIIV is playing? Whoa.) While every artist on the fest’s bill has merit, seeing every act would near impossibility. Just for shits and giggles, here’s a helpful mini-guide.
It’s hard not to mythologize Los Crudos: the Chicago-based all-Latino hardcore band formed in 1991 and helped pave the way for Spanish-language punk bands, but the ideology spreads deeper: the band’s lyricism has always been predicated on ideas of racism and economic discrepancy (and the line that ties them together). The band has broken up and reformed a few times, the latest instance in 2012. And while singer Martin Sorrondeguy went on to form Limp Wrist, it goes without saying that Los Crudos were one of the most important punk bands of the 90s, and seeing them this weekend will be a total honor.
Ten year’s in the making—Japanese crust band Framtid’s only US show (well, there are two dates, so you best make it to one) is at Chaos in Tejas this year. While it’s nearly impossible to find any good information on the band online, we do know the band has been on a couple of really sick splits, including one with Disclose. I recently discovered that “Framtid” is the Norwegian word for “Future,” which, for whatever reason, seems incredibly fitting.
The latest Danish export, Lower, are finally making it to our US shores. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this band incredible: they replace the brooding nature of their Copenhagen counterparts with aggression, maintaining both an ominous persona and a frantic one, simultaneously. The entirety of their catalog seems to drip with intention: nothing is happenstance. And even in the chaos, there is purpose. Lower will release their debut full length, Another Life, this fall. In the meantime, those lucky enough to make it to Austin this weekend are in for a real treat.
I once asked Marshstepper to play my radio show before realizing how idiotic that was, they are a performance act as much as they are a musical one: they deserve and demand to be seen. Which is why, amongst all the hardcore and metal you’ll endure this weekend, Marshstepper is necessity. Plus, I’ve never seen them live before and the videos don’t do them justice. I know what I’ve been missing!
NASA Space Universe
1.) Nasa Space Universe’s tour 12” was one of the best releases of 2012 2.) They’re not playing New York any time soon, so it’s completely necessary to catch them at Chaos. 3.) They’re called NASA Space Universe, which is National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Universe 4.) Their songs riff on Sci-Fi poetry, so you could say they’re dedicated to their form 5.) They are one of the most fun live bands I’ve ever seen, so, ya know.
It’s hard to categorize Puce Mary (Frederikke Hoffmeier) and I’m not sure she’d appreciate the label. She is, first and foremost, an experimental musician, existing within an industrial realm and, at times, feels power electronics. She’s released tapes on popular experimental labels Blackest Ever Black and Posh Isolation, and Chaos marks her first US performance. Truly, it’s only uphill from here.
Gag hail from Olympia, Washington and, in my opinion, are the best hardcore band the Pacific Northwest has to offer (in the last couple of years, of course.) Delayed vocals, heavy reverb, extreme ferocity. Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself.
Coliseum make bratty punk; something that rings truer to tour mates Baroness and their hometown, Louisville’s notorious garage rock scene then Relapse labelmates Weekend Nachos and their kin. With a recent full-length out on Temporary Residence, their forth in ten years, their world takeover is imminent. Plus, Jason Loewenstein (Sebadoh) makes a guest appearance on the record.
Chaos in Tejas always makes it a point to keep its indie pop fans happy and with good reason: while New Zealand’s the Bats may seem out of place, their presence is totally welcome. And for those of us missing New York’s Popfest for Chaos, totally necessary.
Few bands can say they’ve aged well, Terveet Kädet have a triumphant place in that claim. Other than revolutionizing Finnish hardcore, the band has consistently put on a solid live show, this year’s Chaos no exception.