And because of this freedom to create whatever the fuck we want, the scene includes a massive cross-section of artists and bands that sounds so sonically different from each other. Due to the amount of weird shit bands keep cooking up here in the Alamo City, a lot of times these outlier acts end up on the same bill, showcasing their unique sounds to the same audience inside spaces like house shows, art galleries and DIY venues.
In January of 2016, I dropped a lure in Facebookland in an attempt to discover more of the weird and avant-garde artists and bands making music in SA. A week later, I found myself at a house show happening not five blocks from my apartment, where a mixed-bag of artists from several different genres including harsh noise/power electronics artist Wolf Party, rapper D.R.O., noise-rockers Pinko, and folk Americana band Barrera and The Hot Springs, among others, were slated to perform.
The show happened to be a tour kick-off show for Filthy, a band I had just recently discovered and really dug. Since then, the darkwave/post-punk trio has continued to play shows across Texas, and last month released a brand-new EP entitled Fault in Tolerance.
“We get thrown in with a lot of hardcore bands, a lot of punk bands, a lot of rap shows,” guitarist/vocalist Leonard Guerra told the Current. “We’re kind of happy not fitting in 'cause those shows end up a little more interesting ... you definitely reach an audience that might not understand where you're coming from, but they listen to you and they end up grabbing a piece that speaks to them, which is cool for us.”
Formed in summer 2016, the three-piece mixes ’90s darkwave textures, post-punk vocals and ambient electronic tones for a mix that’s vintage yet breathes with air of contemporary edge.
On the track “Evil,” for instance, Guerra’s electric guitar notations cut through an atmospheric buzz in the intro, before Rick Flores’ heavy electronic drum-beat pushes the track forward with a hypnotic, unchanging pulse. While Guerra’s raspy vocals seem to follow a sort of pop verse/chorus/verse pattern, his voice acts more as an added texture or ingredient mixing into the whole dynamic of the 4-minute track. To complete the song, Alex Alvarado’s bass lines moan under the mix with the perfect amount of inflection to keep listeners interested.
“We recorded a bunch of songs, and kind of cherry-picked a few things,” said Guerra, who spoke to us over the phone from Kansas City. The band is currently wrapping up a 16-date tour, including stops in Canada. “Basically, our sound kind of evolved based on the type of shows we were getting – we were playing such a broad spectrum of stuff that kind of really influenced and changed the direction we were going in.”
Even though the EP is a pretty satisfying helping of gloomy pop, I really wanted more, but thankfully, Guerra says we can expect another EP or two within several months – and eventually maybe even a full-length.
For now, enjoy the arguably best local release of the year so far.
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