Grizzly (Houston, TX)
The Grizzly Band, better known as Grizzly, consists of band members Chad (Vox/Rhythm Guitar), Matt (Backup Vox/Lead Guitar), Joseph (Bass), and Nate (Drums).
“After the band finished up its setlist, the audience was not ready to call it a night. Despite amps being shut off and the house music rising up, the audience was non-relenting in their demand for more songs from their hometown band. So, the band retook the stage and ripped into another classic Grizzly tune, Nightmare Lady. This has always been one of my favorite tunes from the band, next to the seldom played Stage Dive. Grizzly keeps moving up through bigger venues, more cities and better exposure. Take my advice and get out to a show soon so you can tell folks how you saw them back in the clubs. Believe me, that day will come.” – Samuel Barker – Houston Music Review
“There was reprieve in the cards for my cochleae. At Dean’s, Grizzly stomped out an appealingly hard honky-tonk sound that culminated in a nice, crunchy cover of “Folsom Prison Blues,” complete with wailing guitar solo attached.” – Nathan Smith – Houston Press
“In a world of rock radio stations that keep getting weaker, It’s refreshing to know that there are a few Texas boys with balls that still put out some good rock and roll. They call it, “Southern Whiskey Punk.’ It’s what you get when you mix two parts Rancid, one part Supersuckers, a splash of Mean Gene Kelton mixed in a country shaker, and served up with a Dropkick Murphys chaser. It goes down hard, but definitely good! There is no gimmick to this band! The song “One more day” which is on the new album “Come And Take It” due out in March has an anthem quality to it that’ll make you want to throw up a fist, kiss your ole lady and drink a cold lone star beer.” – MissVHaven – Tip Out Magazine
“There’s nothing better on the Fourth of July than stumbling across a new band from your hometown whose surly, punk-flavored roots-rock is as American as hot dogs and waterboarding. That’s what happened to Rocks Off this past Independence Day when, while wandering around the Island taking pictures, we stumbled across Grizzly at Eric Tucker’s Continental July 4 party.” – Chris Gray – Houston Press – Rocks Off
Brand New Hearts (Houston, TX)
“One was a quartet of guys from the teeny little town of Magnolia who called themselves Ultramagg. They were one of the best damn emo(-ish) bands this city had seen, in my humble opinion, and they played every show like they were destroying the stage at some arena-sized show in front of a jam-packed crowd of crazed fans. They were heavy, they were melodic, and they were awesome. Frontman/guitaristNathan Parsons wrote the kind of songs I wished I could’ve written, and it killed me when they stepped out of the limelight and put down the guitars and drumsticks.
Then there was Ben Murphy, who fronted or played with a slew of bands back in those days, from Pop Deflation to We’ve Got Airplanesand up through Panic in Detroit and Lucky Motors and beyond (and who most recently worked his magic in the sadly-defunct Bright Men of Learning). I can vividly remember watching Ben play guitar at one We’ve Got Airplanes show and feeling my jaw literally drop as I tried to figure how he was making the sounds that were coming out of the speaker.
Back in those early band days, we — like every band in this town — had trouble finding and keeping a drummer. We auditioned a ton of ‘em, honestly, and one of the few that utterly bowled me over was a guy named Jeff Senske. The man played like a hard-hitting metronome and was one of the best, tightest drummers I’ve heard before or since, up there with Sugar’s Malcolm Travis or Superchunk’s Jon Wurster. (Plus, he makes the best Drummer Faces ever.) Luckily for him, he came to his senses and demurred when we asked him to join the band, but we went on to be in damn near every good band that came after, including Trompedo and the aforementioned Bright Men of Learning.
Last but not least, there was Bring Back The Guns, aka Groceries, aka Gandhi in Evags, aka at least three or four more names I can’t recall. At one point, I’d pinned my hopes on BTTG to be The Band, the one who’d finally make the Music World At Large sit up and pay attention. The band’s skewed-yet-addictive brand of indie-rock was fun as hell but weird enough to make you scratch your head; in a lot of ways, looking back, they were about five years ahead of their time. And after releasing an EP, an album, and a couple of 7″s, they called it quits and went their separate ways, leaving myself and a bunch of other devoted fans sad and disappointed.
I say all this, by the way, both to set the stage somewhat and explain why I was so freaking excited to get word of the existence of Brand New Hearts a month or so back. I’d heard from Nathan Parsons back in the fall, when he nonchalantly mentioned he was trying to get a band together, and a couple of months later, BNH appeared, a band that boasted Parsons, Murphy, Senske, and Ryan Hull of Bring Back The Guns. It was damn-near perfect, at least on paper.
And, happily, from the snippets I’ve been able to hear so far, it’s damn-near perfect in reality, as well. The band comes off like the best elements of all the component bands/musicians, all mashed together into a glorious, rough-edged, insanely catchy whole, and I can’t wait to see ‘em live.” – Space City Rock
Only Beast (Houston, TX)
Sometimes people say things about Only Beast. Here are some of those things:
“Of course, one of the more impressive three pieces in Houston, Only Beast will bring their Sleater Kinney meets Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound to the show after Kirby. If you haven’t seen Only Beast, I’d seriously suggest catching them, as they have such a magnetic energy, that you’re mesmerized by their stage presence. Their singer Danielle Renèe might be one of the strongest vocalists in Houston that you’ll hear in a long time.” – David Garrick, Free Press Houston
“Houston’s Only Beast are a fascinating band, combining elements of post-punk, progressive rock, and goth rock into a sound all their own, with vocalist Danielle Renee wailing atop the mélange like a 21st century Siouxsie Sioux.” – Kelly Minnis, 979 Represent
“Only Beast has a great sound and are true professionals. This makes them a credit to Houston rock and any lineup they are on.” – Debrah Skelton, Red Publication
“I stumbled across Only Beast simply because of their name and instantly became enamored of their dynamic and incredible front woman Danielle Renee, and the sheer raw power of the rock and roll that comes pouring out of her throat. Let’s turn our attention now to another key ingredient […] drummer John Salinas. The man is like some sort of ordered chaos who beats up and down the sides of songs in a whirlwind of rhythm that always feels like its on the verge of falling apart, the way a death-defying trapeze act does. It never falls, though.” – Jef With One F, Houston Press
“Only Beast – friends have raved about ‘em for a while now […] their blues-tinged prog-rock is pretty damn mesmerizing, especially with frontwoman Danielle on the mic. Definitely going to have to hear more …” – Jeremy Hart, Space City Rock
“An explosive mix of stripped-down, no nonsense punk, melodic rock, and blues. Their live performances are sure to melt your face off, make your ears bleed, and give your musical soul the nitrous-oxide high it was looking for.”- Nathan Hudgins
“Anti-matter in leprous hands. They will summon demons and use them as coffee tables to prop their feet on.”- Stephan B. Wyatt
Knights of the Fire Kingdom (Houston, TX)
A Solemn Brotherhood Forever Sworn By Blood-Oath to Combat the Forces of That Which Does Not Rock
“After Roky Moon & BOLT splintered this past spring, drummer Jeoaf Johnson and guitarist Aaron Echegaray didn’t stay lost at sea for long. Johnson assembled his own band, the Knights of the Fire Kingdom, bringing his gravelly bellow up front to sing lead and play guitar. Echegaray joined the Knights a few months in — his brother Marcus is the drummer, so it was a no-brainer. Since May, the group has been gigging regularly around the area, playing a debut show out in Beaumont to get loose for a few Walters and Fitz shows here. Mixing the flavors of Drive Like Jehu, Foo Fighters and Sunny Day Real Estate has proved successful for the band, which has gained steam all summer. Expect a full-length album in the near future.” – Houston Press