Early Punk Finds Revival in Lord Friday the 13th

Halfway through the set, the singer for Austin’s own Lord Friday the 13th, ran out of the backyard of the bar, coming back through the front of the building, sans clothing except for a small pair of banana yellow shorts and “Lord Friday the 13th” written on their chest, except the 13 was backwards, a mishap of trying to do it in front of a mirror.


The foundations of punk have found a renaissance in this self described dollar store glam-punk band. Siblings Felix and Sloane Lenz played for 32 minutes at the Full Circle Bar on Friday. This duo fully embraces the art school foundations of English punk, singer Felix coming on stage donned in a black cloak, a red bat wing headband, bright red lipstick and full coverage black eyeliner.


In addition to the visual aspect of their performance, Lord Friday the 13th have struck the perfect balance between not taking themselves seriously and showing they are still musically proficient. With a song called “Big Mac,” Felix sang about all the things he wanted, while still showing the song was a bit ridiculous by adding the famous -Mc prefix to various words throughout the song. During this song, Sloane was able to passionately play her cherry red guitar that matches her cherry red, torn fishnets. Although punk tends to have simplistic guitar chords, Sloane was able to bring the chords to life, animating the songs even further with the help of her sibling.


As the set continued to evolve, so did the lead singer’s outfits. Throughout the show, Felix went through three costume changes, each one more risque than the last. He ended the show in a tight pair of tiger striped briefs. These costume changes illuminated the personality that was oozing from the stage. The in-between-songs banter, the makeup, the bat winged headband, the outfits. All of these culminated to bring together a duo that one could not take their eyes off of. In addition to their catchy songs, Lord Friday the 13th was able to not only capture the musical minds, but the nihilistic hearts of the diverse and punk audience.


Taking influence from bands like the New York Dolls, the band, in addition to their less serious songs, have a strong late 60s/early 70s punk inspired sound. Their songs are short, powerful, and punchy, everyone at the venue from those in Docs to dads tapping their feet or bobbing their head along to the set list.


At the end of their set, “Big Mac” was played once again, bookends for the half hour set. This time, with the added addition of hearing the rest of their catalog and multiple costume changes later, the song somehow sounded different. The song almost sounded more defiant, more emphatic of the things Felix was saying they wanted. To put it simply: it sounded more punk. It might not be the headbanger we think of when we hear punk, but it has the attitude, and that’s half the genre.


Overall, even though they’re tongue and cheek with their stage presence and fun songs, Lord Friday still proves that they should be recognized for their talent through their emphatic guitar chords and the wide range of uniquely baritone vocals. They demonstrate that the Austin music scene still has an underground world that deserves notoriety and recognition despite the rapid rate the city is growing and changing.


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