The Calm Blue Sea / Tarkus Attacks
Austin has a reputation as home to many an alt-country band, but maybe it ought to be just as heralded for its many epic instrumental acts, including The Calm Blue Sea (as well as Explosions in the Sky). For the uninitiated, a live band which relies little on vocals may seem a bit like a steak dinner without the cow. Yet what a fierce instrumental band like the Calm Blue Sea can do is steel your focus and make you completely forget that no one's onstage with lips to a mic. In the tradition of Mogwai or Explosions, the Calm Blue Sea's songs begin quietly but change tempos and build up to massive, haunting heights.