SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

A Closer Look: The ins and outs of a few important races

News: For more than a year now gubernatorial candidates Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott have dominated airwaves and secured way... By Mark Reagan 10/22/2014
‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

‘Walking the Camino’ Explores a Treacherous Trek Through Spain

Screens: In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walked the 500-mile El Camino de Santiago de Compostela as a pilgrimage to the tomb of Apostle St. James. It was an... By Stephen James Ross 10/22/2014

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