Flashback Friday: SXSW 2020 Preview

Photo Credit: SXSW

Due to COVID-19, SXSW was cancelled along with a multitude of festivals and shows. But that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce on what could have been.

Well, here we are a four months from when SXSW in Austin Texas was supposed to happen. Here's a fun fact about this article. Mere hours before all official events were cancelled, a full write up of shows that were loud related were written up and sent in to be published. Of course that became an outdated article immediately, but at the time, the unoffical portion of the article was still valid, so I did some edits of those and, as the days continued to go on, more and more events were cancelled. So this left a bit of a dilemma: do I just scrap the whole thing, or do I do yet another edit of the article and get that out?

Ultimately, even though the bands in question wouldn't be playing, it doesn't mean they shouldn't be highlighted and who knows what they might do in this time when we're all trapped in here. Plus, I agreed to do an article for this, and I am a man of my word. So though the events that would have happened are all cut out, here's some highlights of artists that were interesting enough to catch my eye with a brief description so you can look them up if you so choose: 

Primo - Possibly doing a Poppy scenario of maybe being an alien or something... doesn't matter, the point is, ithe songs are like lost 80s movie soundtracks tracks that are AMAZING.

Bones UK - Rock / electro duo who are pretty killer live, so you should definitely not miss them.

Martin Atkins - Pigface's main songwriter, and I don't need to write more.

Portrait XO

The Ansible - If Emarosa threw in djenty parts to their songs occasionally.

Blivet - A more garage and stripped down version of The Bronx with occasional shoegaze thrown in for good measure.

Fee Lion - Dark electro that could be an evil Zola Jesus.

Dead Posey - This could not scream "LA Rock band" any harder if it tried. You have probably heard them on a random soundtrack or while watching a show.

The Struts - Look out The Darkness, a new challenger has entered the game, and they too are from England.

Wings Denied - Washington, DC's answer to Protest the Hero with a tinge of Coheed and Cambria vocals. It rips hard.

Dread Risks - Wumpscut mixed with Skinny Puppy industrial, and it might be the only band like that at all of SXSW.

Guidestones - Vaguely alt/pop country tinged indie rock from Montreal. I'm as shocked as you are that this is here

We are Band Nerds - Though most would call this nu metal, it's more like "trap metal" with choruses of Linkin Park and like... that's pretty new.

Ben Katzman's DeGreaser - Pretty rockin' stuff that puts the attitude of punk next to guitar riffs from KISS.

Erika de Casier - RnB that oscillates between today's sensibilities and those from the mid 90s.

Fiddlehead - That punk sensibilities that is present in a lot of Bridge Nine releases. RIYL: Bridge and Tunnel, Polar Bear Club

Casii Stephan - Oklahoma has their own answer to Florence and the Machine with the Americana influences you might expect from a Oklahoma native.

Color Candy - This could easily be time travelers from the 90s indie scene. If not, they should prove they AREN’T

Heart Bones - Dancy, sugary electro that reminds of Kimya Dawson on Pixie Sticks

Portrayal of Guilt - Blackened post-hardcore.

MC Chris and MC Frontalot - Do I really need a further description of some of the inventors of nerdcore?

CVLTE - Japanese psuedo emo stuff like a better Sleeping With Sirens.

Dead Poet Society - A more electronic Royal Blood, and that should be all I need to say.

Feralcat and the Wild - Saxophone over noodly guitar work.

VOLK - Country with a distinct crunch to it.

HEADCRUSHER - Black thrash from Austin based South American transplants.

miesha & the spanks

Curse Mackey

HMLTD - Dark indie dance with a country undertone to it.

Housecall - Upbeat dance rock that hasn't really been represented since Capital Cities faded away

Inferzenal - Mexican metal that is incorporating jazz, funk, and other tasty stuff into their stuff.

MORIS BLAK - Aggressive dark wave that is just superb.

Neck of the Woods - Canadian prog metal that sounds like some more southern influenced older Toothgrinder.

Night Dreamer - Jeff Schroeder (from the Smashing Pumpkins) and Mindy Song team up to put out some dark noise pop. Would pair well with How to Destroy Angels

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs - No typo... that's the name. This weird British outfit is doing heavy psych rock that you should check out if you enjoyed the last King Gizzard and Lizard Wizard record.

REIGN - All the yelly hardcore over djenty guitars you could want from Austin.

打首獄門同好会 (UCHIKUBIGOKUMON-DOUKOUKAI) - Hard rock from Japan that... makes music... about things? To be honest I have no idea what any of this is about, but it sounds good.

Wire Spine - Sounding like it came from the darkest part of 80s new wave / goth, this is some heavy electronic based stuff


Andrew Wieler, aka Andrew Wixq, is CJLOs Metal Music Director and hosts Grade A Explosives every Sunday at 4pm.