Shapes Have Fangs
By Ezra Morris
Does anyone in Austin ever actually park a car in the garage? It seems like fuzzed-out bands playing obscure bangers from the mid-sixties permanently occupy most of the city’s carports. In just the last 10 years, the Texas capital has churned out the Black Angels, the Strange Boys, Harlem, and Woven Bones. Now we can add Shapes Have Fangs to the list.
The real source of these reverb drenched bands might have more to do with Roky Erickson. In the mid-sixties his band, the 13th Floor Elevators, defined the parameters of garagey psychedelic rock. Shape Have Fangs build on that framework, bringing in a distinct Kinks feel and a healthy dose of the Seeds. The latter band’s influence makes perfect sense—Shapes Have Fangs were the last band to back up Seeds front man Sky Saxon before his death in 2009.
Live at the Mohawk, Shapes Have Fangs deftly continued that Austin psych tradition. Along with an avalanche of bands that fit the frame, Austin is home to the Black Angels-curated Austin Psych Fest and their Reverberation Appreciation Society, a label that released Shapes Have Fangs’ debut LP. Clubs like Emo’s and Red 7 feed into Austin’s habit of churning out bands that filter the sounds of 60s psych and garage through the DIY punk rock meatgrinder. Shapes Have Fangs are a welcome addition to that storied canon.