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Pop Music Reviews : Scratch Acid's Burn

March 13, 1987|CRAIG LEE

There are some who believe that Texas is not just another state but a different planet, and some of the underground music emanating from the Lone Star State might bear that theory out. Scratch Acid is an Austin group notorious for its gross stage antics and for a songbook including tales of cannibalism and a violently sexist viewpoint.

At the Whisky on Wednesday, singer David Yow conveyed the latter attitude in his remarks about Love Dog, the primarily female group that opened the evening. Beyond that, there was nothing remarkably twisted about Scratch Acid. The quartet was an overpowering, tight musical unit, playing rhythmically intricate barrages that incorporate the kind of metallic tension-release pyrotechnics employed by other psych-rock groups like Australia's defunct Birthday Party and South Bay sonic mutants Saccharine Trust.

But even though Scratch Acid is a musically explosive and ingenious group, Yow's hoarse yowl quickly grew tedious. He's no Nick Cave nor Gibby Haynes (of Austin's other famous pack of bizarros, the BH Surfers). For the uninitiated, Scratch Acid's post-hardcore noize might burn, but it doesn't neccessarily sting.

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