The four band members of Lip Critic
Credit: Justin Villar

SXSW: Check out the noise makers heading to Austin

The utter joy of festivals is discovering new music. SXSW brings together artists from all the world. Here are just some of the noisemakers who will be looking to shake up Austin at the beginning of next month. Don’t forget your earplugs.

Backdrop Cinderella
Formed in Tokyo in 2006, Backdrop Cinderella play an eccentric, fast-paced brand of punk rock that combines influences from ska, metal, Irish and folk music with some truly ridiculous lyrics. Energetic frontman Dendeke Ayumi dances, jumps and hangs upside down from the ceiling while he sings, and he is backed up by the more soulful voice of afro-hairstyled guitarist Toshima “Perry” Wataru and the high-pitched shouts of bassist Asahi Kyanako, which add an even more eclectic feel to their sound. After over a decade together, Backdrop Cinderella have never changed members or deviated from their vision, bringing fans more wild and irreverent songs each year. The members have adopted the phrase “unza unza” to describe both their sound and the free and instinctive way that fans dance to it.


Bee Bee Sea
Small town ennui. Feeling stuck. Being broke. All of these inform the music of Bee Bee Sea, who hail from the small northern Italian town of Castel Goffredo. Yet they haven’t stopped the trio from crafting breakneck anthems documenting dissatisfaction, or developing a fearsome live reputation. Bee Bee Sea – Wilson Wilson on guitar and vocals, Giacomo Parisio on bass, and Andrea Onofrio on drums – met fresh out of high school and immediately bonded over music. “When there’s no good shit around you better form a band” runs their motto – and so they did. “We were into bands,” explains Wilson, “and over time we became more rock, and started to get into punk.” Their album Day Ripper has ten incendiary tracks full of edge, tension, and fuelled by frustration – “ripper” is very much the right word. From the catchy, effervescent chug of first single ‘Be Bop Palooza’, to the filthy garage punk of ‘Drags Me Down’ and ‘Telephone’, it’s a record that throws you around the room before pinning you up against the wall and screaming in your face. Songs barrel along like a whirling dervish, all galloping drums and frantic power chords, occasionally teetering on the brink of collapse. Yet such chaos is precisely what makes Day Ripper so compelling, and so fun.


Dream Nails
Self-proclaimed punk witches Dream Nails is an English punk/riot grrrl band from London founded in 2015. Live their energy is unbounded, garnering a well deserved reputation for their riotous performances. Now signed to Marshall Records they released their second album Doom Loop in 2023. Clash Music described the band “outspoken yet vulnerable, confronting yet honest, ferocious yet calm” and stated that Doom Loop is music “about self-expression, opening up so that others can find community and thus hope. Together they have succeeded in producing an album which welcomes us all into their world.” Dream Nails combine activism, provide a safe space but also bring a huge dollop of humour to their music. What a joy they will be at SXSW.


Most members of the Australian band dust met in high school, becoming engrossed in Newcastle’s all-ages music community and playing in bands together. Early projects gave them the space to experiment and make mistakes in the way regional scenes allow young people to fumble towards their own identities. “We were able to learn from those bands what to do, and what not to do,” Gabriel Stove – who shares vocals, guitar and primary song-writing duties with bandmate Justin Teale – told NME. The quintet bring their own style to stages, incorporating free jazz into their wild soundscapes. Just watch the video for ‘The Gutter‘ and you will be instantly hooked.


End It
Baltimore’s End It are at the hardcore end of the noise spectrum. Just read what Stereogum had to say: “Right now, Baltimore’s End It are one of the most exciting bands in all of hardcore. They play blisteringly fast, muscular, anthemic tracks that work as delivery systems for the giddy rants of larger-than-life frontman Akil Godsey. Godsey is straight-up insanely fun to watch. This past weekend, I saw End It play Richmond’s Big Takeover fest, and they might’ve had the best set in the weekend, partly because of the way Godsey began everything by singing the living hell out of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” — he’s got a great voice — before the band launched into their first song. I love these guys.”

What an endorsement. Their EP Unpleasant Living was released in 2022 and a full Audiotree album was released last year. More homework to prep for SXSW 2024!


On their EP Caught in the Web of the eight tracks not one was over two and a half minutes long! The New York based five piece bring a Ramones tinged edge to their sound. A rasping raw and rebel rousing band who released their latest single ‘Counter-Strike‘ last year. Vocalist Matthew Orr has his own unique style. The guitars are constantly on the edge, and the lack of polish is just as it should be with punk. Live, Gnarcissists must be electrifying…


In January Icelandic post-punk band GRÓA announced the reissues of their two acclaimed albums – Í Glimmerheimi and What I like to do. It will be the first time they will be available on vinyl and CD.  Their second album, Í Glimmerheimi, focuses on themes of curiosity and growing up, with the creation process emphasized by the group’s connection through deep talks about life, playfulness, and the realization of society’s “box”…and how to break out of it. “The album is about growing up in a world and getting to know it in a different way than you used to. Seeing and hearing things in a new way. Getting to know your own voice.”   The band expands, “The album was written when we were 16 and 17 years old. A lot of the songs are sung from third person narrative, like a story, making a brand new fantasy-based world out of moments and thoughts in our real worlds.”

GRÓA took these themes further on their following album – 2021’s What I like to do. “Our live shows had started to get more aggressive with time and that was opening us up a bit,” the band says. “We had a longing to do our next album heavier – keep it raw and filterless. The phrase ‘nothing is wrong in the creative process’ was at the top of our minds this time. This state of mind really had its impact on the album. It was all about satisfying ourselves by making music,” the band explains.


Lambrini Girls
Iggy Pop namechecked Lambrini Girls last year saying they were his “new favourite band“. The trio from Brighton in the UK provide fast and furious music, plus their live shows blur the boundaries between audience and band. Their energy and assault on the senses are an utter joy and create a community at gig.   Lambrini Girls have previously stopped a gig because a girl in the crowd had said that a guy had “grabbed my arse“.  Security were called by lead singer Phoebe Lunny and the bloke was kicked out the gig.  Lambrini Girls don’t just talk the talk but they 100 percent walk the walk.  Their songs are full of wry observation and social commentary delivered with a punk aesthetic and mostly from the moshpit!  Do not miss.


Lip Critic
Lip Critic graced the cover of NME for the week of 12 February. The Brooklyn based four-piece signed to Partisan Records last year and have announced their debut album Hex Dealer set for release in May.  A Lip Critic gig is a thrilling mash-up of hardcore, electronic, punk and the energy is off the charts.  Their music is hard to define and therein lies the utter joy.  With the promise of a ton of music in their back pocket Lip Critic are not likely to run out of material any time soon – which is such good news.


Noah and the Loners
Noah and the Loners return to SXSW in 2024 after opening the Marshall Records day showcase at Mohawk in 2023. The four-piece from Brighton will release their debut EP A Desolate Warning on 28 February.  Their powerful songs capture the zeitgeist of Gen Z – from personal tracks on teenage love and lead singer Noah Lonergan’s experience of toxic masculinity as a trans man, to political blasts at racism, corruption and the climate crisis.  Having just completed a run of dates in Spain for the first time, it is obvious that they are hitting the spot when it comes to engagement with the audience. Another band full of energy and a swagger which is backed up by the performance and their music.


The hardcore punk band from Santa Cruz, California consists of consists of singer Kat Moss, guitarist Malachi Greene, guitarist Mikey Bifolco, bassist Bailey Lupo, and drummer Cole Gilbert. Scowl released two EPs in 2019, the first was self-titled and the titled Reality After Reality…. In 2021, the group released their debut full-length album, How Flowers Grow, through Flatspot Records.  The group released their third EP in 2023 titled Psychic Dance Routine.

In a 2022 interview with hardcore magazine In Effect singer Kat Moss said about touring: “We are focused heavily on touring as much as possible! We are trying to hit all the places in the US that we haven’t played yet as well as across the pond!”


Just a heads up.  Apparently the Nashville quintet (vocalist Blair Tramel, guitarists Connor Cummins and Ian Teeple, bassist Happy Haugen and drummer Cam Sarrett) bring papier-mâché puppets and props to all of their gigs; their mascot is a giant bug puppet whom a willing participant will wear as a backpack to go roaming around the crowd.  This band bring the fun into punk, and what fun it promises to be too!

“It feels like we’re throwing a party for all of our friends every time we play,” Tramel says. “My ideal type of hangout with people is you bring over a craft or whatever you’re working on, and then I’m gonna work on my thing, and we do that together. And [our shows] really feel that way. It’s like, ‘Thank you for coming to our party, now we’re all besties!’”.

For more information on SXSW please check out the website for full details.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.