Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
\'Most Naked Woman\' Set to Shimmy at San Antonio Burlesque Festival

'Most Naked Woman' Set to Shimmy at San Antonio Burlesque Festival

Food & Drink: The answer came unanimously without prompting or hesitation, as if sent straight from the sexually liberated goddess of... By Melanie Robinson 7/30/2014
Pub: Stay Golden Social House

Pub: Stay Golden Social House

Flavor 2014: Puro meets Pearl-adjacent at this laidback joint that packs a punch with seriously delicious cocktails... 7/29/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Profiles in Cosplay from Ivy Doomkitty to Dog Groomers

Profiles in Cosplay from Ivy Doomkitty to Dog Groomers

Arts & Culture: Wizard World Comic Con graces San Antonio for the first time ever. The traveling pop-culture mega fest brings together comic... By Kyla Mora 7/30/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Chemistry and chaos help lift the Ground’s art-rock

Photo: Christine Sargologos, License: N/A

Christine Sargologos

The Ground’s Angotti, Dierkes, and Saenz when not discussing artwork.

If the Ground were known by any other name, one might consider Points of Contention. Or maybe Points of Polite Disagreement. Consider the two pieces of promo art on their Facebook page, one of which became their album cover art. The first is designed by guitarist/vocalist Brad Angotti (also in Perpetual Heat and the now defunct Búho) and it recalls countless ’90s alt-rock albums: a dead wasp on the pavement under ironic department store lettering. The second piece, by guitarist B.J. Dierkes (reared by the Florida hardcore scene, of the defunct I, His Chronicler) is a lost Sabbath record, an eerie cathedral in washed-out grayscale with a font suited for Mexican surnames on pickup trucks. “These guys have been giving me shit about that for about a month,” Dierkes deadpans in the recording studio/home of Edwin Stevens (Blowing Trees, Fisherman).

“Be glad you didn’t see mine!” chimes in drummer Deb Saenz (who earned her stripes in San Francisco’s metal scene), before everyone laughs. Angotti jokes that the group will probably break down and “hire a professional” to settle the album art dispute.

The Ground spoke to the Current between takes of their forthcoming, as-yet-untitled EP (which will be named, packaged, and on sale this Saturday). It’s an experiment in hypnotic, heavy art-rock. Angotti is a capricious guitarist who loves finding accidental inspiration in his effects pedals and creating piles of tones and noise. His counterpoint is Dierkes, who matches Angotti’s technical precision but keeps his textures comparatively clean. A little distortion here, a little boost there go a long way in preparing the landscape for Angotti’s guitar. Meanwhile, Saenz tills said landscape like a mythological robot beast: methodically and mechanically, emphasizing pure functionality over showmanship.

Together the trio makes some earth-shifting art-rock. Album opener “Made Time Stand Still” is a somber death march, with Angotti and Dierkes layering piercing guitars and Saenz slapping out a dreadful cadence. Meanwhile, Angotti is still finalizing vocals for “Slow Death,” working on an outro that features him singing melodiously underneath a guitar-and-drum apocalypse. On the first draft, he sang through a bass amp with the distortion turned up before deciding to sweeten his voice. “I don’t want [the vocals] to be on top like a pop record,” Angotti says. “[But] I really want things to be disconcerting. A crushingly loud guitar and this nice tuneful melody.”

Angotti and company are maintaining the mercurial approach of Búho, including plenty of minor creative squabbles. Drummer Saenz generously describes Dierkes as being “in a moment” when his solo goes long during a take. Over the noise Angotti screams at both of them to shift to the song’s next section, but Saenz argues they should let Dierkes follow his inspiration. “She was like, ‘No, you’re wrong, he needs to keep playing,” Dierkes says, before the band — Angotti included — cracks up. •


The Grasshopper Lies Heavy, with the Ground and Joust & Parry

Call for prices
9pm Saturday, Sept. 10
The Ten Eleven
1011 Avenue B
(210) 320-9080

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus