Austin singer-songwriter David Garza has been an integral part of the Austin scene for many years now. He’s not only known for his own music, but for his collaborations and as a producer for other artists. Well before all of that, Garza played in a three piece band with college friends and musicians Chris Searles and Jeff Haley. Not yet old enough buy alcohol legally at the time, the three formed Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom twenty years ago. With a short band life of less than a year, Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom became an Austin legend of sorts to those few who got to see the trio at their Cactus Cafe gigs. Writer Michael Bertin put it best when he described Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom as “a juvenile incarnation of the Violent Femmes”.
Now after all these years, Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom is back. Sort of…they did play a couple of reunion shows at Cactus in December much to the audience’s listening pleasure. For the rest of the world, they can now experience the twangy-ness that is Me So Twangy in a twentieth anniversary, remastered re-release of their classic album that most only had on cassette tape until this point.
The album’s opening track, “Always Give Your Love Away”, gives you pretty good idea of what the rest of the album and Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom is about. Garza sings and plays guitar, Searles is on percussion and Hayley is on bass. It is a fun little love song that listens something like an acoustic adrenaline ride. It is a great look back at the young David Garza’s early songwriting skills. Apparently he has always been gifted.
“Nicotine Queen” is a quick little bongo driven jam band track about an obsession with a particularly odd woman. Apparently this woman smokes a lot of cigarettes, loves Bee Gees and The Osmonds of all groups. Still Garza lives for her none the less. It’s impossible not to laugh when Garza belts out “Everyone knows cigarettes bring bad breathe and an early death”. True indeed Mr. Garza. Who wants to deal with such things?
The twangiest track on Me So Twangy is “My Wish”. I love the sound the brushes Searles uses to drum with on this track. It creates sort of this cool marching band effect that Garza just flows with. “My Wish” is one of those songs in the spirit of getting along. Listening to it should just make you feel good. “Big Stick” is a close second favorite as it too is jammy band and quite humorous. For the most part, the rest of Me So Twangy is fun and “twangy”. Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom is probably not for the average listener but rather for audiences of discriminating taste. I think anyone who gave it a listen would enjoy it, but it is certainly a must have for David Garza fans and Austin Music geeks.
For more on Twang Twang Shock-A-Boom, visit them on Facebook here.