Webzine Compilation Review
Shut Up & Listen Vol. 1
Rivethead Magazine / Last Entertainment Corporation of America 2014
by Andrew C. Schlett
Always at the vanguard of Houston music, your friends at Rivethead Magazine have now produced a web compilation stuffed full of enough local underground down-home sounds to literally choke a goat. Staying true to its stated mission of exposing bands who might otherwise never be spotlighted, Rivethead offers out Shut Up & Listen Vol. 1 for your pleasant enjoyment. Described as “a 16-track showcase of select Southern Texas indie talents of yesterday, today, and tomorrow,” this compilation has something for everyone. It spans the musical spectrum to include everything from black metal to hard rock to cow punk, and many things in between. Assembled by Rivethead Magazine’s own master podcaster Wes Dodson, this release (available as a free download on Soundcloud, Soundclick, and Reverbnation, respectfully) currently appears at #1 on the Reverbnation charts for Hockley TX, and trust me y’all, Hockley is a tough audience to play.
Many of these songs I, as Editor of this esteemed webzine, am already familiar with. “56 Airline” for example, by I-45 has previously appeared on Rivethead Radio’s Podcast IX. Both “Deranged Kids of the Electric Playground” by Joel Gregoire and “L.A.” by Dogz On Parole appear on discs that I have personally reviewed for Rivethead. “Eye Of The Storm” from Epic Death has gotten well over 105,000 YouTube plays by now, which is a damned lot of plays! Red Naked I already knew about anyway because I kinda have a taste for cow punk. Some of this material, however, can’t be found anywhere but here. The mellowest song on the album, and the only one previously unreleased, is “Into The Storm”. It’s a singer/songwriter ballad sort of in the style of what Aaron Lewis is doing these days, but the singer of Cottonwood Blossum is Elijah Argo, brother of Michael Argo, who is the singer of no less heavy a band than the legendary Deadhorse. Stout City Luchadores have been playing these parts for years. The Hates contribution “Houston The Greatest City In The World” could be adopted by the Chamber of Commerce for an advertising jingle, and may yet be if we can figure out a way to get it onto Mayor Parker’s playlist. What local compilation would be complete without the inclusion of Hollister Fracus? Finally, I am told that Ron Coy, guitarist and singer of Rampancy, was so excited to learn that his song “Trans Am” had been chosen to appear on this compilation that he practically soiled himself. Now that, my friends, is impact.
A number of these band names should be familiar to anyone who has been around this scene for a while. Hell City Kings have played here for a long time. Epic Death, besides being a YouTube sensation, has recently appeared in Derek Norman’s outstanding documentary film Heavy In Houston and can be seen playing out with some frequency. Joel Gregoire has been a musical factor in this town for many years, founding the groundbreaking speed-metal band Stride back in the 80s, since then going on to offer high-level guitar lessons and practice tips, amongst many other guitar-related accomplishments, and now playing in both Ground Zero and the Journey tribute band Escape. Drunken Thunder provides the shortest song in the set at 1:35 and it’s a minute and a half of nothing but solid down-home hard Texas jamming. Funeral Horse also should be noted here as providing what was (to me, at least) the biggest surprise on the compilation of all. “The Fedayeen” is one seriously heavy song and Funeral Horse is one seriously heavy band.
There is absolutely nothing on this album that sucks. Depending on your musical leanings, some of these tracks will appeal to you perhaps more than others, but that’s just another beauty of this webzine compilation release. The user can either download the entire set as a whole or individually by track. If you only like Whorehound, then download only Whorehound. If you like everything else but Whorehound, you can exclude them from your download and never hear them again. How cool is that? There is no charge for this download; it’s fast and totally free. You can’t beat that deal with a stick!
Shut Up & Listen Vol. 1 is produced by Rivethead Magazine and Last Entertainment Corporation of America, in association with Red Clown Crematorium and the Rev. Dr. Dubb Diablo. Visit any of the links below to download this outstanding webzine compilation for free and hear some of the best sounds of Texas for yourself.
–Andrew C Schlett, Editor, Rivethead Magazine
Or just check it out here on Rivethead! Volume 2 is there also!
BECAUSE THE MUSIC MATTERS!!!