(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #415: Rascalton

By on Tuesday, 26th February 2019 at 12:00 pm
 

Ahead of Live at Leeds 2018, I previewed Rascalton, a Glaswegian band whose name I described last spring as sounding “like the name of an anarchic village, where disorder is the rule of the day.” Playing a very packed out, very sweaty Green Door Store at The Great Escape 2018, they wowed me with their punky musical style, sans the pretention and egocentric swagger that can turn me off about British guitar bands. While many groups these days with a scrappy sound have been described as being borne from a garage (personally, I find ‘garage rock’ a silly genre), this is a case where you can actually believe that these four friends honed their sound from such humble beginnings.

In 2018 and after their appearance at The Great Escape, the Scottish four-piece released their debut EP ‘CSC’, short for ‘Control Social Club’, apparently named after a DIY punk night in Glasgow. It’s four short songs all with radio-friendly length: only one goes over 2 and a half minutes. Opening track ‘Told You So’ reminds me of the now-defunct Leeds band China Rats; as an opening salvo, you can’t get much better than this. The onslaught continues with the rapid fire power of ‘Police’, ‘Lonely Faces’ and ‘Lost Generation’.

More than a half year after my tipping of them and the band’s release of ‘CSC’, the NME Blog has decided to anoint Rascalton as one of their “Essential new artists of 2019”. They’re described as “If The Clash were raised on Buckfast…”, as well as compared favourably to Buzzcocks and former SXSW success story Shame. I don’t do what NME did and give myself 100 chances to be smug and say I got it right. If I were a betting woman and given the incredible hype Shame, and other UK punk bands have built off the back of their debut appearances in Austin, I’d put all my money on Rascalton. So far, two official appearances of Rascalton at SXSW 2019 have been announced: at the just revealed yesterday return of the Buckaroo Ball at the Hotel Vegas Annex Wednesday night, the 13th of March, at 10:30 PM, followed by the End of the Trail evening showcase at Valhalla Friday night, the 15th of March, at 10 PM.

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