Live at the Continental Club (The Rock Garage)
REVIEWED BY MICHAEL TOLAND, FRI., SEPT. 28, 2012
If there’s any band in what was once called Austin’s “alternative” scene that deserves live preservation, it’s Pong. On vinyl. As sonically representative as the locals’ studio albums are, it’s in concert where this quintet’s satire-soaked dance rock comes alive. When the guitar attack of Gary Chester and Jason Craig’s muscle-bound riffage begins bouncing off Shane Shelton’s sugary synth squiggles as nailed to a groove as relentless as Lyman Hardy’s fleet-footed disco, Pong pushes it over the top. Live at the Continental Club, part of TRG’s Texas Live Concert Series, serves as a de facto greatest hits (so far), with the band romping through the space rockin’ dance pop of “Suicide Cat,” smirking funk of “Killer Lifestyle,” and the crooked riff-pop of “Secret Meat.” The band throws in the dubtastic synth pop of “Click OK” and the electronica-kissed hard rock of “Superwrong” while it’s at it. Naturally, Pong ends the show and LP by declaring, “Finally – some good music!” That may be tongue-in-cheek, but the description can’t be denied.