Bring Back The Guns to bring the noise to Midwest and Dry Futures to the rest. Houston quartet’s vast arsenal hints at Hot Snakes, Pixies, The Shins, Fugazi, more.
“There’s something compelling about a band that manages to sound like the Shins hopped up on mathcore, with just a dash of early Modest Mouse... There’s a weird, utterly unreasonable energy here that makes it worth playing over and over.” -- Impose Magazine
“Opening with Futures’ “Radio Song,” wiry frontman Matt Brownlie jerked, jumped and flung himself pell-mell across the stage, his spastic movements mirroring the music’s jittery vocals and guitar parts. Drummer Thomas Clemmons, his parts as animated as Brownlie, broke into a sheen of sweat visible from several yards away, while bassist Ryan Hull stood like a statue as his lumbering basslines acted like the glue holding BBTG’s schizophonic sound together. Their music seems to be based on duality - tension/release, quiet/loud, pensive/unhinged - and it was all there Thursday.” -- Houston Press, live review 10/4/07
Houston quartet Bring Back The Guns has announced tour dates throughout the Midwest beginning in late November to support the release of its debut album on Feow Records, the new label founded by Devendra Banhart cohort Jana Hunter and BBTG’s own Matthew Brownlie. The band plans to deliver its taut, wiry live show to the rest of the country soon thereafter. Until then, its Dry Futures album -- already praised by Alternative Press, Paper Thin Walls, Impose, Houston Press and more -- should hold audiences over sufficiently. Please scroll down for complete tour dates.
Bring Back The Guns is a messy experiment in taking pop and punk tropes to the classical museum hoping to get thrown out. There's a mathematical precision that belies the boiling underneath, a surface of timing and beats, wordplay, performance, persona that performs the same function as a paper plate during an eclipse. BBTG twists its primal screams into exquisite sculpture and invites you to knock over the ropes on your way to touch the art. BBTG is anger and love and other short words with long definitions: pop, math-rock, post-Pavement, anti-cool. Its sound somehow simultaneously references elements of such disparate bands as Hot Snakes, The Shins, The Pixies and Fugazi on the young quartet's debut album Dry Futures.
Previously, Matthew Brownlie, Blake Powell, Thomas Clemmons and Erik Bogle (ex-The Octopus Project) were the award-winning Groceries, and in five years they released two albums: the 1999 EP Knuckleheads & Icons and a 2001 split EP with DrillboxIgnition. Powell took off in late 2002 and now flies airplanes through the sky. The rest of the band toured twice with The Toadies, once with Lozenge (Sickroom Records) and did the West Coast with The Octopus Project (Peek-a-Boo). In 2004 Ryan Hull joined on bass, and the band became known as Bring Back The Guns. Soon they were freaking everybody out in their hometown Houston, TX scene. The music got uglier, the beats got faster, and the anger got redder. All the while, the praise got louder -- winning the Best Indie Rock award in the Houston Press in 2005 and 2003, with nominations every year from 2001-present.
For the next 1 and 1/2 years, scads of touring took them all over the lower 48 states. The boys hit the Midwest and South repeatedly and both coasts twice, doing stretches with the likes of Old Time Relijun (K Records), The Show Is The Rainbow (Tsk Tsk), Danielson (Secretly Canadian), and Emperor X (Discos Mariscos.) Recording and mixing on the full-length that was to become Dry Futures technically ended December 31, 2004, but since that date BBTG released a 7” on Discos Mariscos and appeared on two nationally distributed comps.
Imagine the bow-tied rage of a chess genius at his first lost tournament, a spelling bee prodigy after missing an easy word. Imagine the anger irrational numbers feel, when they realize they'll never make the big time. Imagine the neighbor dog over the fence, that wants out so badly he's frothing at the mouth. Where do you go when you can't get out? Imagine being shushed in the library when you weren't even the one talking, a kid so pissed off he's going to walk until he doesn't want to fight anymore. Set the rage to music. That's Bring Back The Guns.
“Bring Back The Guns is making some of the most original music in the city. The band's music crackles with energy and makes the heart race. It isn't simple, and it's often weird, but these are the very reasons it engages you. You listen, you try to piece together what is being said and why, and then the key changes or the song stops and the rug is pulled out from under you.”—Sara Cress, Houston Chronicle
“Bring Back The Guns are incredibly fun. They are masters at taking completely unrelated segments of music, stabbing them together and making them work as if they serve to tell some sort of immense, epic tale.” —Lance Walker, 002 Magazine
“..one of the coolest bands I’ve ever seen/heard, from Houston or otherwise...chances are that nobody in this town will ever realize how good they are, even though they might well be the closest we’ve got to the Archers of Loaf, Spoon, or Pavement...Skewed, mildly ‘progressive’ pop songs that are smart as hell...”—Jeremy Hart, spacecityrock.com
Bring Back The Guns Live:
11/ 23 Fort Worth, TX 6th St. Live
11/24 Norman or Oklahoma City TBA
11/25 Springfield, MO TBA
11/26 St. Louis, MO The Bluebird
11/27 Chicago, IL Ronny's
11/28 Madison or Milwaukee, WI TBA
11/29 Minneapolis, MN TBA
11/30 Des Moines, IA TBA
12/01 Omaha, NE Slowdown w/ Antelope (Dischord)
12/02 Hot Springs, AR The Exchange w/Clipd Beaks
Dry Futures Tracklisting:
01. No More Good Songs
02. The Art of Malnutrition
03. Let's Not
04. Dry Futures
05. Take It Like A
06. Face Smear Pt. 1 (All Right Now)
07. The Family Name
08. The Season for Treason
09. Radio Song '04
10. I Am the Voice of Sarah Strickland's Rage
11. In Piles/On File
On The Web: