Tuesday, June 08, 2010

"Garage Rock" and other delights!

What IS "Garage Rock"? Or "Garage Punk" for that matter? Some say that neither have ever really existed at all, and some seem to filter everything else through them. The first group might say that it's a non-genre that was only really "created" when certain types of rock and roll were seen in a different context with the hindsight that only years of over-analyzation can provide. (American teens with often somewhat limited technical mastery of their instruments aping their heros the Rolling Stones, Kinks, Animals, Pretty Things, Yardbirds, Them and others of the hard-edged side of the British Invasion primarily.) The second group tends to favor simple, raw, loud, three-chord blues-guitar based music played by small combos with a never-ending supply of teen angst and frustration sometimes dabbling in old country, blues, jazz and what some might call psychedelic and/or noise rock to oversimplify things. They sound pretty similar, huh?

Garage music has gone through multiple waves of popularity/resurgence to the point where the first camp is mostly made up of borderline nostalgia acts (with some amazing exceptions) much-like the "rockabilly" scene but with different clothing, and the second camp is mostly made up of ex-hardcore punk rockers who've expanded their interests with age. The music of the first camp has practically become it's own sub-genre of classic rock and is often pointed-to as one of the precursors to punk rock, and the music of the others is less strict in style but still relys on the traditions of abrasive rock and roll with a punk influence often burying their sound in overblown distortion, reverb and noise. The "Garage-Punks" have even begun to introduce elements of post-punk and other innovations of the underground of the 80s and 90s into the mix to great effect.

This has all been written about countless times in more detail by better writers but it all leads up to this...

Our band, The Bipolar Express has deep roots in the Dallas/Austin Garage Rock Scene (one of the world's best in my opinion) but please don't try to stick us in the Garage!

It's a bit of a cop-out to call us "Garage Rock" or even "Garage Punk"....not that I wouldn't be proud to be labeled as such, esp. as a shorthand means of description. It's just that we all listen to quite a large variety of music and we work hard to incorporate elements of it into our sound. Rather than your standard 3-chord Troggs riff over a farfisa (which I LOVE!) you might just hear a little bit of soul, r&b, psychedelia, spaced-out noise, blues (both jump and otherwise), 70s and 80s Punk, Tex-Mex, art-rock (if Captain Beefheart is art-rock that is!) and whatever the heck the Butthole Surfers were up to when they were still great.

Of course you might just call this delicious stew "noisy rock AND roll" like I do but come out to the show on June 26th and find out for yourself!