On Saturday, November 14 at the Westheimer Block Party, I witnessed one of the most energetic bands in ages, Leg Sweeper. To summarize, the show was a sweaty mess. I could feel my heart pounding as guitar player Justin Gomez started to crowd surf. Beer and dirty laundry covered the floor. As the songs started, the punk kids formed a whirling dervish, known as circle pitting, in the center of the room. This energetic event was hosted at Mango’s, a popular indie and punk club in Downtown Houston.
I walked into Leg Sweeper’s set with no prior knowledge of their music, but I immediately became a fan. They perfectly capture the essence of the Dallas punk scene with their fast, ambitious, and fun beats. I enjoy this type of music because it is generally less about politics and more about partying. This model was followed by other Dallas punk bands like A.N.S. and the Bleach Boys. While not as prominent as the scenes in Los Angeles or Portland, Dallas deserves just as much attention for its dearth of talent. Their sound is a breath of fresh air from the morbid themes of Houston’s crust and grind core bands.
The local kids were responsive to Leg Sweeper, which is a positive thing. I always like to see a show where the audience is actively engaged. After noticing all the buzz in the room about this band, I had to get a demo. It’s called “Leg Sweeper’s First Demo EP” and is five songs long. The demo runs for about 10 minutes with the best track being “My Face Hurts”. The song makes reference to Refused’s 1998 album with the line, “This is what they said would be the shape of punk to come.” The song also has a melodic chanting sequence which says, “My face hurts. I need medicine. I can’t even feel my legs. My fist hurts. I need medicine. But [expletive] that, Lets do it again.” Now, those are raw and unblinking lyrics.
Judging by the show and demo, I believe that Leg Sweeper sounds fresh and catchy. They bear a resemblance to the late 1980s post-hardcore scene in Washington D.C. Bands like Rites of Spring, Jawbreaker, and Shudder to Think come to mind. Yet, they embrace a newer path set by Annihilation Time, Japanther, and Lightening Bolt. In fact, Leg Sweeper played the Block Party with Japanther, who headlined at Numbers, and they have a bright future ahead of them. For contact information and upcoming shows, visit Leg Sweeper’s myspace at http://www.myspace.com/sweepthehead.