What do the bands INVSN, SISU, and Pure Love all have in common? Well, they all kick ass. And if your first thought was that they were each accepted to perform at SXSW 2014, you’d be right. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll realize that each of these bands spun off from another. Of those announced as part of our first round of 2014 Showcasing Artists, at least six artists are either side projects or spin-offs.
Let’s start with INVSN (pronounced “invasion”), a Swedish band featuring Dennis Lyxzen, lead singer of punk bands Refused and International Noise Conspiracy. Listen to their latest offering, an eponymous album released earlier this year, and you won’t hear anything like Lyxzen’s other bands. The record draws on inspiration from post-punk and alt-rock of the 1980s, a stark contrast to the hardcore sound of Refused. Originally called Invasionen, the band will be performing for the first time at SXSW under either name this coming March.
Sandra Vu has been here before, as the drummer for the Dum Dum Girls at SXSW 2010 and 2011, and as the leader of her own band, SISU, at SXSW 2012. Sandra has probably been busy working on the Dum Dum Girls' new album due out this January, but she will be making her return to Austin for SXSW 2014 with SISU. Although SISU takes on a darker, more shoegaze-influenced tone, there's no doubt that fans of the Dum Dum Girls will quickly latch on.
The story behind Pure Love is slightly more complex. The English-American rock band, comprised of Frank Carter from the UK and Jim Carroll from the US, formed as a result of Carter leaving hardcore punk band Gallows. Pure Love formed in 2011 and released their debut studio album, entitled Anthems, earlier this year. Pure Love, while still alluding to the band members’ punk and hardcore roots, embodies a more accessible sound for those of you trying to avoid the thrashing tunes of Gallows or Carroll’s other band, The Hope Conspiracy. Pure Love will be performing at their first SXSW this March.
Along with the three bands highlighted above, David J, Angelo Moore & The Brand New Step, and Deidre and The Dark are SXSW 2014 spin-off artists that come highly recommended by the SXSW Music staff, so go listen to them or else! Oh, and be on the lookout for Round Two of 2014 SXSW Showcasing Artists later this month…
Sandra Vu rocking out with Dum Dum Girls at SXSW 2011. Photo by Jonathan LaChance.