Photography: Josh Wolfer, Story: Kail Rose
Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their 2010 EP, Long Overdue, January 11th saw an absurdly excellent evening of music, rainbow penguins, and rock & roll debauchery with Austin’s own A Good Rogering. One of the few Austin bands I’ve seen more than a handful of times, I’ve yet to witness them perform a less-than-stellar show.
No AGR set is the same. Expect eclectic acts of disobedience, an abundance of flying hair, and likely a few f-bombs. But excellence is the standard in everything they touch – be it 2017’s This is Death Metal, or something decidedly ‘funkier,’ a-la the more recent Mr. Peanut (seriously, check this one out).
Frontman Skunk Manhattan reeks brilliance on a myriad of instruments, but on lead vocals he brings an unpredictably grizzled, pitch-perfect showman-esque stature to the whole production. Clad this time in suit and tie (as is the entire band), you never quite know what he’ll do next. From “snailing” along the pit rail (you kinda had to be there…), gnawing on a cymbal or licking the plushie penguin before throwing himself into the crowd; it’s epic, it’s rock n’ roll, it’s a certain je-ne-sais-quois. All the while, lead guitarist Tim Driscoll takes us through a veritable wonderland of perfect riffs and slick solos. He’s flawless. Bassist Sammiard Alvarado trades holding down the low end with showing off some of the most beautiful hand-made basses I’ve seen. This multi-talented human also moonlights as a luthier, creating incredible works of art that happen to also sound amazing. This evening, the lineup includes John Takanikos on keys and another favorite local, Marc Coronado of The Crowned on drums. Through the evening we see cameos -including Blaine Matte of Eyetooth, who was once AGR’s bassist- and unexpected twists and turns; none of which overshadow the musical brilliance that is AGR live.
This is one of those bands that leads you to consistently ask; “why the hell aren’t these guys touring internationally?” With a smorgasbord of music available on popular streaming platforms, they’re certainly not new to the scene. Some of their music is deliciously reminiscent of 80s rock, while other songs slip toward gritty heavy metal. Their many EP’s are dotted with deliciously frivolous sounds from pretty much every genre. When asked what their primary genre is, they’ll reply; “We call ourselves ‘eclectic rock’ because not much else really fits.” And that’s part of why we love them: there’s nothing they can’t do.
While almost all of the current band lineup moonlights in other musical projects (fully worth checking out), we can only sate our appetite by looking forward to their next rare appearance. What’s next for these eclectic rock geniuses? Will it be a brand new love song? A tribute show? Or a brand new EP, featuring songs of who-knows-what genre? Will it be their enormously popular summer rock festival, Skunkfest? The latter is guaranteed, and if 2019 was any indication, Skunkfest 2020 will be bigger, better, louder and crazier than ever before. Save the date: June 19 & 20 at Come and Take It Live in Austin, Texas.