Not in the Face

Beauty Bar, July 4

No less than the Austin Chronicle decreed blues-rock duo Not in the Face as having put on one of the most memorable shows in the history of the Texas city’s renowned 20-year-old rock club Emo. So my anticipation was sky high as bottle rockets and firecrackers screamed and popped in the alley behind the Beauty Bar. I wasn’t let down. Ginger-mulleted singer/guitarist Jonathan Terrell and gruff drummer Wes Cargal played like the shit-kicking honkytonk bartenders they are by day, executing a frenzied and ferocious set of hard, heavy rock. From the stomping gutbucket majesty of “Brass Tacks” to the Paul Westerberg country-punk of “Downtown Girl,” the two musical compadres generated a helluva fine racket for a small but spirited crowd. Maybe it was the free PBR and overdone hot dogs the Beauty Bar kept offering on the occasion of Independence Day, or perhaps it was the cool vintage black-and-white teen-exploitation film projections the band brought with them, but I swear that, at least live, this band sounds every bit as good, or maybe even better, than the Black Keys. If I hadn’t still been thoroughly hungover the next day, I swear I would’ve rushed to Not in the Face’s follow-up gig at Double Down Saloon. Ultimately, the band provided exceptional Fourth of July pyrotechnics. ★★★★☆

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