New bands can be difficult for me to write about because I don’t have a sizable catalog of music to elaborate on; many bands take a while to record a full-length or several EPs, so many great up-and-coming bands only have an EP of 3-4 songs to sell you with. That’s not really a problem as a consumer, but as someone who writes essays on this sort of thing, the yield is often little more than a paragraph of relevant material.
With that said, I’m going to split this commentary between three great bands that don’t have enough recorded material for me to talk about in a non-redundant way, and I’m going to start with Austin’s Creux. Creux, meaning ‘hollow’ in French, is best described as alt-gaze, or that they takes equal parts grunge squall, ratchet power chords and layers upon layers of dreamy, shoegaze-y reverb, delay, sustain and white noise. Think Switchfoot meets Pink-era Boris meets Ride and you should get a decent idea of the wall of sound Creux is capable of producing once they get the ball rolling.
Wading in a similar pool of washed out colors are San Marcos residents Glaze, a child of Joy Division, The Jesus And Mary Chain and The Pixies. Their songs contain winding passages of morphing guitar and charging bass that weave together like an effervescent double helix, under which drums charge forward atop ethereal wisps of vocals. My personal favorite is ‘Chow Mein’, but their newest release, ‘Daisy’, shows signs of growth towards more introspective and reflective material.
Moving closer into the realm of 90s alt rawk we have Muff. Muff, like Glaze, is from San Marcos and shares many of the same influences. Unlike Glaze or Creux, however, Muff doesn’t use delay and reverb to create atmosphere, but instead focuses on dry, Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement-inspired juxtapositions of clean guitar tones and fuzz. Personal highlights include ‘Settle’, ‘North’ and ‘East Side Love,’ but like the other artists here, all the songs on their debuts are consistently strong and pleasing, hinting at the intensity of their live shows yet retaining repeatable playability.
Words: Ethan Schrupp | @ethanschrupp