Hearsay: Wednesday, April 17, 2003

Ever heard of Sourvein? Us neither. Yet the band was one of only three from Tarrant County invited to play South by Southwest this year. Not that that gig’s an indication of actual talent, but there are a lot of decent bands that are asked to Austin; saying you played SXSW still looks good on a resumé. The story on Sourvein is that it’s one of those bands that’s so huge out of town and overseas — essentially, every place other than Tarrant County — that it just doesn’t have time to play local holes in the wall for chump change. (Must be something romantic about playing holes in the wall for chump change in, say, New York City ... or Los Angeles ... or Dubuque, Iowa.) Sourvein is an enigma.

From the simple-yet-memorable, thundering guitar riffage and intense vocal “melodies” in the music HearSay heard on the band’s web site, Sourvein would probably be a perfect fit for the Tattoo Bar, the Ridglea Theater, or the Wreck Room (at least on black metal nights). The group’s most recent record, Will to Mangle, was produced by Billy Anderson (Eyehategod, the Melvins, Neurosis), proving that Sourvein’s got the pedigree and the chops to back it up.

What makes this outfit seem even more enigmatic was their no-show in Austin. The simple fact is, Sourvein is out there, somewhere in Cowtown. Where, is anyone’s guess. (If you see ’em, feel free to tell ’em HearSay’s on their tail.)

Living in the same city as what is surely a gem of a band always makes HearSay feel as if it’s not working hard enough to uncover the worthwhile talent here, that it’s failing. Now there’s another allegedly great group that’s come out of the same blue sky as Sourvein, this outfit called the Snowdonnas. Per Over Now, the Snowdonnas’ debut c.d. that landed on HearSay’s desk a few weeks ago, they sound almost too good, too polished, to have come from anywhere but, ya know, Dubuque (certainly not Cowtown, anywhere but here). This quartet makes those art rock songs that, unchecked, can end up sounding like run-on sentences — a million changes and no hooks. The Snowdonnas keep it tight and keep it accessible. Think: Coldplay with attitude. Textured guitars, solid choruses, inventive beats, and a little new-wave angst. The Snowdonnas play the Wreck Room this Friday, April 18, with the Audiophiles, Afterglow, and Hi-Fi Drowning. Go see ’em. See ’em all.

The lesson: HearSay and its entourage can’t be everywhere at once, so if you’re in a Tarrant County band, feel free to snail-mail or drop off a c.d. of your band’s most recent work to 1204-B W 7th St, Suite 201, Fort Worth, TX 76102. That, or drop us a line at the e-mail address at the bottom of this column and let us know when and where your band is playing next. We here at the Weekly are all about listening to and seeing new, good Tarrant-County area bands. Metal, hip-hop, country, doesn’t matter. If you’re good, we’ll lavish you with praise. If you suck, we won’t kick you while you’re down.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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