Saturday, July 13, 2019

Gamma Dog's- unbridled punchy post punk of "Wa" harkens back in a good way

Gamma Dog hail from Austin, Texas and their punchy post punk track Wa has a spark of Brit pop / rock buried beneath the explosive indie rock tones (at least to me). Maybe it is the big wave of Farfisa-esque synth or the strident guitars or deeply raw bass and drums and Matt Blackwell's husky cool vox but I am feeling shades of late 80's meets 90's college indie rock meets 90's Brit pop rock (Supergrass, Blur). The stew works on so many levels, least of which is just the unbridled joyous garage rock punch.

Gamma Dog is Matt Blackwell on guitar and vox, Trey McKinley on Bass, Kevin Garcia on guitar and backing vox, Kyle Garcia on keys and Shawn Gallivan on drums.

Robb Donker


Gamma Dog’s embryonic first steps date back to 2004 when two highschoolers - lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Blackwell and bassist Trey McKinley - discovered similar interests in music and began hanging and playing music together. It was later in 2009 once reconvening in college in in Austin, Texas that they decided to start a new original band together.
Formerly as Empire Machines, in November of 2011 the band self-released their eponymous debut EP, a six track EP that clearly demonstrated their remarkable talents. Songs like the wonderfully seductive and grooving, “Never Enough,” and the danceable, pop-oriented track, “Sweet Teeth,” garnered enthusiastic reviews online from music lovers, bloggers and radio hosts across the U.S. and around the world.
But Blackwell and McKinley struggled with recruiting and maintaining a consistent lineup of band members who shared their unique vision for the sound they wanted to achieve at a time when their own musical abilities were improving and their aspirations expanding.
The band workshopped a new sound for years with other new bandmates, playing shows in and around Austin and working on many new songs, only to figure out they had gone down a path they ultimately weren’t feeling and decided to go back to the drawing board to figure out what really moved them, and start from scratch. This was the beginning of the 3 track Animal Skin EP, which would be released in 2015.
In 2016, their luck took a turn for the best when they recruited current members Kevin Garcia on lead guitar and back up vocals, and soon after his twin brother Kyle Garcia on keyboards. It was this combination that hit the bullseye, allowing them to pursue unabated the sound and unity they were aiming for, later adding Shawn Gallivan on drums to complete their sound.
Increasingly reflective of the variety of musical influences from bands like Radiohead, The Beatles and Modest Mouse, experimenting more with their instruments and lyrics, and introducing darker and more minimalistic elements in their songs, Gamma Dog continues to forge ahead.
In the ensuing years, the band has built a growing following of loyal fans, been booked more frequently for gigs at top venues, performed for enthusiastic crowds during SXSW, and gained the not-easily-attainable respect as a talented DIY band in Austin’s fiercely competitive music scene. 
The five-piece released the single ‘Scenes’ in 2016, later deciding in late 2017 to take a hiatus from live shows and focus solely on crafting their new full-length record. Now having nearly completed their album, the band has gotten back out playing shows and is ready to begin releasing brand new material on the unsuspecting masses in Spring of 2019.

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