Austin-based genre-bending outfit BLXPLTN has a knack for not only making powerful songs, but making equally powerful visuals that inform viewers on their chosen subject matters while enhancing the experience of taking the song in. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Black Site, their latest single and video, continues this trend by finding the band exploring ideas of escapism as a reaction to political corruption and public redundancy. Zero Hour ATX, the collective that produced, directed and shot the video, reinforced these notions by recreating the feel of a literal dark web black site, adding little bits of code and much more into brief subliminal flashes prior to teasing the infamous snuff-style material that unwilling dark web explorers can stumble upon. With a track record like theirs, it’s good to know that BLXPLTN doesn’t appear to be letting the foot off of the creative gas anytime soon. Definitely check out the video, give it a like and leave a comment if you dig it, and share it around to help support Austin originals.
I can’t lie, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time, and have been very excited to share it with the world. For those who know, they know the wheels of entertainment turn a bit slower on the film side, so after a successful production, an impressive run at the film festival circuit, and a bit of unplanned time on the shelf due to COVID-19, it brought me great pleasure when Ryan Darbonne let all of the I AM TX cast and crew know that the film was finally ready to share to the world. It stars the multi-talented Jonathan K. Horstmann from BLXPLTN, Urban Heat and much more, Pleasure Venom lead singer Audrey Campbell and myself, and featured the talents of many Austin-based members of the film scene. We’re very proud of what we made, and even prouder to share it with everyone, so please take a moment to check it out, and if you feel inclined to do so, let us know what you thought and share it with others.
My good friend Nick Hanover, the driving force of the popular Austin music and culture blog OVRLD.com, has some of the best taste in music of anyone that I know. For anyone with doubts, his newly created Mixcloud channel serves as proof of this fact. So far, All Night Fever 9/20 has been my favorite episode, with its focus landing squarely on the wide range of punk-influenced music from the Austin area. The playlist is diverse, with classic bands like Big Boys, Scratch Acid, The Dicks and Butthole Surfers sharing time with newer acts like Pleasure Venom, BLXPLTN, Meat Belt, Institute and much more. If you like irreverent, loud music with a message that’ll get you charged up, look no further than this mix.
The YouTube momentum isn’t stopping anytime soon for Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice. This week marks Episode 004 of DOOMpeerREVIEW, the weekly music video show featuring a heavy dose of Texas artists from a wide spectrum of styles and influences. For the latest episode, the lineup is stacked as usual : MC Homeless + Chris Conde, Third Root with Grupo Fantasma, Mad1ne, Kydd Jones, Spy Coastal, BLXPLTN, Curbside Jones, YNGLDY, Chuck Duze + You F. Oh + The Elephant in the Room + DMT, and of course, Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice. If you like the show and want to support it, leave a like and a comment, subscribe to DOOMtubeATX on YouTube, and share the content around for everyone to enjoy!
I’ll let BLXPLTN tell you about ZZEERRO (Dying for You to Get Rich) :
‘Punk has always been a warning about how much worse things could get, and now? We’re there – and Austin‘s BLXPLTN are weaponizing their visceral, needle-burying proto-rock bursts to deliver the huge, nasty truth that the unthinkable is the new normal. They’ve soaked in the history and sonics of their chosen genre, echoing the political and musical bent of the likes of Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and Fear. But as acolytes of genre-benders like Ministry and Big Black, the need to kill convention poisons the blood of TaSzlin Rico Muerte and Jeremy Wolfe Kivett. In place of duct-taped guitars and banged-up kits, the two push drum machines and synths to within inches of their lives. ZZEERRO (Dying for You to Get Rich) is the latest case of what Fader calls “working-stiff punk… that makes me feel like punching someone in the face.”
There’s a live-wire immediacy to BLXPLTN because they tend to assemble these Molotov cocktails the second they get their hands on some gasoline. One morning, TaSzlin woke up and saw something terrible on the news. What was it? Take your pick of all the horrifying things we now choke down on the regular. He went into the studio and wrote this, the PhlegmTV LP’s first single. The two kick out an unforgiving feedback squall, a primal beating with megaphone vocals chanting anti-mantras, as if from a Unabomber shack behind a burned-out factory. But when the chorus hits, they manage to gouge out some serious melody amidst the chaos. When the nearly unfazeable Noisey tells you, “BLXPLTN are going to burn down the stage, the crowd, and your house,” pay attention: this tune is what they’re talking about. If you’re not already banging your head, a track like this will gladly bang it for you.’
One thing I love about the Austin music scene is how collaborative it can be. Talented musicians form bands, play with other bands, and new bands form out of these meetings. Urban Heat Island Effect is a perfect example of this phenomenon, as it contains a roster full of hugely talented musicians from other successful projects : Jonathan Horstmann is a veteran of several projects, including BLXPLTN and VC30; Kevin Naquin is a founding member of the standout duo NGHT HCKLRS, who joined forces with Blackillac to form Blastfamous USA; Jessica Alexander did time with Bike Problems before joining this crew; and Paxel Foley rocked with Betaplayer previously. As a collective, the crew is coming out the gate hard with Guns, a throwback-style post-punk, no-wave-esque track with a very, very timely message about misplaced machismo. 2019 is proving to be a killer year in terms of quality work, and Guns is just another notch in Austin‘s belt. Check out the video, like and comment on it, and spread it around for others to enjoy as well!
BLXPLTN has never been afraid to be as poignant as they are confrontational with their observations on the truth and he state of the nation. NO ENGLISH, their latest video and the first single off their upcoming sophomore release Children of the Foreign, is a bold statement on how the so called ‘tired and huddled masses’ that America claimed they wanted are now literal fodder at the hands of our political machine. A system of rule that was set up to protect Americans of all colors and creeds is doing all that it can to keep us at odds with one another as it tears us apart us a nation. BLXPLTN displays their feelings on the matter via a video dominated by two parallel states : a rousing and emotional performance versus ICE agents chasing members of the band through the woods. If this is a taste of what’s to come with Children of the Foreign, I’m ready for a major dose of their reality.
The collective that is busa flock continues to grow and intrigue. Recently, Blastfamous USA introduced us to the busa flock concept via the Pull Up video, which featured an amalgamation of Blastfamous USA and Blackillac. Now that the EP has hit the airwaves, the picture is much clearer in regards to the membership… on top of those previously mentioned, Mobley, Fort Never and BLXPLTN all pitch in to help create a project with equal parts energy, urgency and intellect. Blastfamous USA has made it crystal clear in their short existence that they are a force to be reckoned with, and now that the flock has a roster of hard hitting peers, there’s no telling how far they can all fly.
Music Felonis not only out there constantly showing love to local artists, they are giving young journalists opportunities to gain valuable experience and confidence by doing what they love. Mabel and her interview series is the perfect example of both things… you can see her getting more comfortable with each interview, and her unique perspective and presentation allows the interview subjects to let down their guard. One of her recent interviews was with the homeboy Tasz from BLXPLTN. Check it out, give it a like, share and comment, and keep supporting local creatives!
As referential as music can already be, both in terms of lyrical content and musical interpolation, a listener like me can find endless enjoyment in a song. When a band can take that referential element to the next level by incorporating that aesthetic into their music videos in a nearly perfect context, that’s when things move to the next level. BLXPLTN‘s latest video offering, Education Destruction, hits this on every level… the song draws the direct line between education, knowledge of self, personal empowerment and influencing the world around you… the video takes the They Live! approach by using the sunglasses metaphor as a reveal of what lies underneath what you’ve been spoonfed. Another homerun for the hometown heroes, for sure. Give this one a like, a comment and a share, and keep your eyes and ears open for a new BLXPLTN album on the horizon.