ACL has punk rock bands on this year’s bill


David Sackllah

Between South By Southwest, Chaos in Tejas, Fun Fun Fun Fest and weekly shows at clubs such as Red 7 or Mohawk, punk shows are as common in Austin as 5 p.m. traffic on Lamar

And while Austin City Limits Music Festival is usually lacking in punk bands, this year will feature three big punk acts in its lineup with Savages, Parquet Courts
 and FIDLAR. 

Savages is an all female quartet from London, known for giving intense and electrifying live performances. Its debut record, Silence Yourself, was released this past summer and includes forceful and explosive hits including “Husbands” and “She Will.” The band has gained a reputation for adhering to a strict set of independent values, but has become memorable for its talent. Every member of the group is skilled, especially the propulsive bassist Ayse Hassan and drummer Fay Milton, who might be one of the most brutal drummers in punk right now. Guitarist Gemma Thompson leads the band with a drive that echoes early Joy
Division, and singer Jenny Beth brings it all together with her howls that all but force the listener into submission. Even those who do not typically like punk rock would enjoy Savages.

Parquet Courts is a punk rock band with Texas roots. Formed in Denton by Andrew Savage, Sean Yeaton and brothers Austin and Max Brown, the band found success after moving to Brooklyn and crafting some of the best indie punk of the past few years by stripping the music down to its basics. Echoing post-punk and indie-rock legends such as Television or Sonic Youth, the band creates direct and hard-hitting rock with elements of jazz, all while featuring complex yet slightly detached lyrics in the vein of Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. All these comparisons ring true when listening to its fantastic second album Light Up Gold, released in August 2012. Parquet Courts are set to put out a fantastic new EP called Tally All The Things You Broke, which debuted earlier this week on KVRX. They are also known for incredible live shows and are local favorites, so expect their stage to be one of the most crowded in the early morning. 

Finally, for fans of traditional Californian skater punk in the vein of Descendents, check out the delightfully bratty FIDLAR. The band revels in irreverent and adrenaline-packed hits such as “Wake Bake Skate” or the already classic “Cheap Beer.” Its self-titled debut was released earlier this year to critical acclaim and shows are always insane,
usually featuring the band just drunk enough to function as it shreds and whips the crowd up into a frenzied mosh pit. Led by the enigmatic Zac Carper, FIDLAR is one band worth arriving early for.

While ACL can sometimes get a bad rap for leaning too hard toward radio-friendly indie rock or Americana, the festival delivered this year with three of the most exciting young bands in punk rock.