The Latest Toughs: Institute, BoomBaptist, Keeper and More

Latest Toughs

If you live in Austin then you already know there’s too much damn music to keep track of. And sometimes you just want to sift through it in bite-sized chunks. We totally understand. Allow us to introduce you to The Latest Toughs, five tracks from five bands to get you up to date and make each of your workdays a little easier.


Institute- “Giddy Boys”



My Mondays are mostly a mad scramble to catch up to deadlines I ignored all weekend, so your mileage may vary here but I prefer to soundtrack the onslaught of assignments with psychotic music. On that note, something about the totally incomprehensible shouting and Mission of Burma punk deconstruction soundtrack makes Institute’s “Giddy Boys” ideal listening . The rest of the 7″ “Giddy Boys” comes from is more obtuse and volatile, but “Giddy Boys” itself is surprisingly tuneful underneath all the grisly sonic viscera, allowing it to be closer to black coffee in audio form than, say, a hit of adrenochrome. That said, there’s a reason why Institute are on a label called Deranged Records and Ovrld shouldn’t be held responsible for any psychotic breaks “Giddy Boys” may provoke.


Keeper- “The Shadows (Paracosm)”


You’re gonna need a cooldown from that Institute track, and what could be better than Keeper? The local vocal trio have slowly been releasing tracks from their upcoming debut and they’ve all been excellent, but “The Shadows (Paracosm)” is perhaps the most focused on their vocals, forgoing a complex beat in order to maximize the time spent with those angelic voices. Built around a loop of an ascending melody and mouth percussion, “The Shadows” is a futurist lullaby, here to save you from “the harshness of day,” reminding you “it’s nice to be alone.” Think of it as TV on the Radio’s “Satellite” as done by a trio of future funk sirens, acapella but no less interesting for it.


BoomBaptist- “Golden New Era”



On that Keeper note, their producer BoomBaptist has a crazy show coming up at the North Door this Friday, August 15th, as he and the rest of the Applied Pressure crew band together like a vinyl Voltron to perform DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing in its entirety. Boom’s recent track “Golden New Era” offers ample proof that he’s perfectly suited to this enterprise, as it has a cavalcade of samples merging with a beat that is both classic and new. If you’ve never seen Boom live, get on it, he performs like a mad scientist, utilizing more athleticism with his Push than entire power trios display at a standard rock show and his productions are similarly complex, always full of interesting deviations and stylistic flips. BoomBaptist has also confirmed that he’s hard at work on his debut LP, so keep an eye out for that, but in the meantime his Soundcloud is full of beat tapes, one offs and remixes from his archives.


Rav x Scuare- “Addlerall”



Over a refreshing, summery beat by Birocratic, Austin’s Scuare teams up with London’s Rav to provide a quick audio escape from the overbearing heat with “Addlerall.” Scuare can be seen offering up one of the best sections of the AMX Cypher video, but for the uninitiated, he’s got a breezy, lackadaisical flow that hearkens back to early Josh Martinez. Scuare’s tight grasp on melody and knack for shifting rhyme schemes and flows makes him one of Austin’s most promising hip-hop acts, and Rav serves as a perfect foil.


Bavu Blakes- “Summer Saturday Songs”



One of a handful of Austin hip-hop godfathers, Bavu Blakes stands out as one of the most adventurous, both in terms of his refusal to get complacent in a still Austin scene and in terms of his taste in beats that avoid the heavy Houston influence that coats much of his peers’ work. That latter comment is particularly relevant to “Summer Saturday Songs,” a feel good hit for the summer if ever there was one. Lyrically focused on recognizing the good things in life even when the rest of the world is going crazy, “Summer Saturday Songs” is fun but mature, an ode to growing up and embracing responsibilities rather than running from them. It’s also a tribute to sharing between generations, of the musical bonds that can connect the young and the old, all set to a soulful beat by Arson Optics. Why not let the weekend in early and kick back with some summer Saturday songs of your own?

Nick Hanover got his degree from Disneyland, but he’s the last of the secret agents and he’s your man. Which is to say you can find his particular style of espionage here at Ovrld as well as Loser City, where he mostly writes about comics.  You can also flip through his archives at  Comics Bulletinwhich he is formerly the Co-Managing Editor of, and Spectrum Culturewhere he contributed literally hundreds of pieces for a few years. Or if you feel particularly adventurous, you can always witness his odd .gif battles with his friends and enemies on twitter: @Nick_Hanover