SXSW is the first significant music festival of the year. It’s sort of a teaser for what music is going to take over for the rest of the year. It’s primarily young bands fighting to get heard by the right people, alongside bigger bands there to entice you to check out the little bands. There is also, however, a small slice of bands from yesteryear that pick a SXSW appearance to simply scream, “WE ARE STILL ALIVE AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE A NEW RECORD OUT!” This is an assortment of my favorite bands that have picked 2017 as their year to make a return.
It feels like it would be a mistake for Fastball to NOT make an attempt at a resurrection this year. With Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello sampling “Out Of My Head” for their massive, unavoidable hit “Bad Things,” it feels like this is the best possible time for Fastball to re-introduce themselves to the world.
Bash & Pop
2015 ended with Tommy Stinson in kind of a weird place. After spending 13 years in Guns ‘n Roses, and then rejoining the legendary Replacements for a hugely successful reunion tour, he was suddenly without a steady gig. So he decided to get his early ’90s one-album-wonder power pop project, Bash & Pop, back together for another try. Their recently released album, Anything Could Happen, is surprisingly excellent, so this set could be one of the big surprises of the festival.
At this point, I think Crazytown might be more famous for singer Shifty Shellshock’s time on VH-1’s “Celebrity Rehab.” That being said, Crazytown had one massive hit, and it was a bonafide earworm for the ages. And maybe, just maybe, after filling your brain with all sorts of new, exciting sounds for a week, it feels good to drink cheap beer and get super excited about a song that you always told your friends you hated.
Joan Of Arc
Joan Of Arc have been quite active for the last 22 years, since the demise of Cap’n Jazz. However, after spending years as the go-to band for whenever you needed some experimental indie rock that made you just a little uncomfortable, it seems they fell out of favor for other, younger bands that accomplished this same need. Not to fret, as this year at SXSW, you can relive your college dorm days of drinking Wyder’s Cider that you bought at the one liquor store on Geary that doesn’t card, and blasting music that will only confuse your roommate.
Modern English have actually been back on the road for about seven years now. Yet somehow, I still find it surprising to see them playing events like this. They’ve found themselves in a neat little niche, playing bills with younger goth bands. They have essentially replaced Peter Murphy as the reigning gothfather, and that isn’t a band thing at all. The bad thing? Whatever the hell the guitar player’s tattoo artist has done to him.
Los Gatos, CA natives Trapt came along a little too late for nu-metal. Instead, they signed to a major just in time for the emo revival. So, in order to get on the radio, they found the perfect balance melodramatic hooks and boombastic rage in order to fit seamlessly on the radio alongside Taking Back Sunday and Jimmy Eat World, while still holding onto their metal roots. Not sure what they’ve been up to since this song, but I’m sure there is somebody excited to have them back.
See you in Austin!