BY FRED MILLS
It’s no secret that here at BLURT we love Austin, and a slew of the Lone Star city’s bands definitely pass the smell test for us as well. Here’s another good ‘un: The Bremen Riot, which is a summit between Grand Champeen’s Channing Lewis (guitar/vocals), Alex Livingstone (bass/vocals), Michael Crow (guitar/vocals) and Ned Stewart (drums) and Minneapolis ex-pat Mike Nicolai, who’s been making the nature scene in Austin since the mid ‘90s, issuing a slew of records under his own name. With Nicolai’s assured, Ray Davies-like vocals at the fore, the band chugs lustily across a set of infectious power pop and high-energy garage/punk; images of vintage Rockpile and The Jam surface alongside the obvious Kinks connection, but the sound is still defiantly original.
Standout tracks include the galloping “Keep Your Head,” with its chorus echoes of the Beatles’ “She Loves You”; the Ramones-like “Ruthless” (wait for the raveup guitar solo, however); and the darkly brooding “How’s Your Lunch?” which is guaranteed to send sonic shivers down your spine. Pressed on pristine 180-gram vinyl, natch. Ladies and gents, meet The Bremen Riot, and book the next flight to Austin, pronto.
DOWNLOAD: “Ruthless,” “How’s Your Lunch?”