An early incarnation of Black Congress convening in the triangulated epicenter of a spilled PBR can, somewhere in the expansiveness of Texas.
Well, I'm still loyal to my beloved neighbor Oaklanders the Diesel Dudes, but I stumbled upon Houston, TX's Black Congress, and goddamn they are good.
Their album from about a year ago, Unfortunate Hubris, (I know, I'm always late to the party) is a glorious thing: it begins with an 18 minute-long opus called "Little Arms," the most beautiful prog-hardcore I've heard in some time -- including a Meddle-era Pink Floyd-esque electronics component, a Ministry-esque guitar line (circa the seminal, breakthrough Psalm 69), Tool-esque drumming, Triclops!-style vocals, and a truly impressive, repetitive, carpal tunnel, punishing bass line that makes my ol' buddy Les Claypool look like a.. well, an aging hippy. The album then brilliantly has two under-two minute post-thrash songs in the 2nd and 3rd song slots, and some excellent songs closing the album out. And the fucking thing is free in this pay-what-you-want day and age, on good ol' Bandcamp.
It looks like Black Congress have had some band member changes o'er the years, which is of course natural. Their early stuff lacks the electronics of more recent recordings, and it was funny to see this 7" cover that features a man who looks a lot like my girlfriend Claire's boss, Dave Eggers, in some kind of blood-flowing transcendental state.
All in all, excellent music coming out of Houston in the ol' Lone Star State. Dark, driving, and punk without punk's sometime pretentiousness, this is some good shit.