Milk Is Better Than Drank, Thanks to Beaumont's Purple

Photos courtesy of Purple
I saw Purple perform live recently and was blown away by their relentless energy and bombastic garage rock. So I was pretty happy to find their video for "Leche Loco," which is so new I was only the fourth or fifth person to "like" it on YouTube.

I had a watch party of three later that evening with my son and a friend, Justin Paxton, from the band Two Buck Drunks. We tried to pinpoint some Purple influences, and heard some Blood Brothers, CKY, bygone locals the JonBenet, and most definitely Kathleen Hanna when the drummer sang. Her name, coincidentally, is Hanna. Hanna Brewer.

Purple guitarist Taylor Busby
We all agreed their sound was dissonant from their look, which is kinda Kurt-Courtney-Krist. They don't sound like Seattle's grungiest, aside from none of us being able to discern exactly what guitarist Taylor Busby was singing much of the time. A mosquito? My libido?

Speaking of carnal desires, Purple makes no pretense about enticing yours. Brewer literally coos some of the lyrics a la Marilyn Monroe while the band splashes about in creamy, spurting milk. And why not? They're three attractive kids with an obvious wild streak. If you ain't feeling that, get a pulse check.

Joe Cannariato's feedback-heavy bass drives the song along with Brewer's frenzied drumming. Busby's guitar work is solid here, though you should take a glance at some older Purple videos for more proof of his abilities and his apparent penchant for pastel-colored axes. The "Leche Loco" riff does stay with you all day, like the shadow of a milk moustache left over from your morning's cereal.

All this from some kids from Beaumont, I uttered.

Paxton then said he considers Beaumont the new Gainesville, Fla.; both seem to be deep wells of talent bubbling over in unexpected fields. My son agreed. Just as Gainesville spawned Against Me!, Less Than Jake and Tom Petty, there are some fine bands doing work down I-10 East, we concluded.

Beaumont's got Americana bands like Barelands and The Ruxpins. A personal favorite, The Ramblin' Boys, serve up an awesome roots-punk hybrid. From pop rockers Jenny and the Reincarnation to psychedelic folk jammers We Are Wombat, there's a lot going on eastward to be excited about.

Purple is proud to represent the area, too. Their latest album, 409, was released last year. And they're Texas proud -- one of the sexiest moments of "Leche Loco" is the one where Brewer saunters down the grocery-store aisle draped in the state flag. You can't find unmentionables like that in Victoria's Secret, and only a Texas girl could truly pull off the look. [Note: this paragraph has been edited to correct the album's release date.]

Part of the video was shot in a grocery store, which doesn't suck. The grocery store is easily one of the dullest places most of us have no choice but frequent. It's my life's dream to one day walk into Fiesta and see a band plugged up in the produce department, giving a full show amongst the lettuce heads and spuds. Until then, this will have to do.

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Brett Walker
Brett Walker

Beaumont/Port Arthur has already spawned, Janis Joplin, Edgar Winters, ZZ Top, and UGK.

Ryan Goetz
Ryan Goetz

Yep, some seriously good shit. Go see 'em live!

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