Woven Bones, We Are Hex, and Burnt Ones: Psych Sludge Punk at the Vollrath on June 27

This week in Indianapolis, there’s been a bevy of mega storms that have rocked the Circle City. These things bring high winds, dark, hanging clouds, dazzling lightning galore, and an ominous air to our peaceful little Central Indiana city. After one of these displays of nature’s fury, denizens of Indy are often left feeling brooding, hungover from the tension filled atmosphere of the storm, and wrought with electric power. It just so happens that these are the feelings you’ll probably get after you go see Woven Bones, We Are Hex, and Burnt Ones this Sunday at the Vollrath Tavern. The dingy punk psych rock forces of these three bands is enough to send Indianapolis music fans’ heads up into the clouds. Is it a coincidence that the music from these three bands sounds like a musical collage of all the debris lying around Indy after this week’s storms? You’ll have to decide on Sunday.

Video of We Are Hex performing live at Spin Nightclub in Indianapolis as part of the Broad Ripple Village Fall Music Festival in 2007

The headliner for this Indianapolis event is Woven Bones, an Austin, Texas three piece that sounds something like The Ramones if they were recording in a coffin sitting on the back seat of the Space Shuttle and experiencing acid flashbacks. Fusing primordial 2/4 beats, sludgy drone guitar, and vocals swathed in reverb, Woven Bones creates a zombie punk ambiance that’s as scuzzy as the floor at The Ugly Monkey at 4 a.m. The band has started to make a name for themselves in indie circles; this show at the Vollrath is a good chance to see them before they blow up.

Video of Woven Bones performing live in Oregon; Woven Bones will be playing at the Vollrath Tavern in Indianapolis on June 27

Woven Bones hasn’t released a full length album yet, but they’ve done well with a slew of 7″ singles and 12″ EPs, including their most recent, The Minus Touch. Woven Bones won’t wow anybody with their virtuoso musicianship, vocal acrobatics, or original songwriting, but they do exude a certain brash, “we don’t give a f*** about nobody” vibe that’s perfect for their breed of nasty punk; when they close out the Vollrath, you’ll walk into the downtown Indianapolis night feeling more than a little dirty.

Video of Woven Bones performing live at SXSW; Woven Bones will be playing at the Vollrath Tavern in Indianapolis on June 27

Though Woven Bones is the headliner, Indianapolis music fans might be more excited about the two local Indianapolis bands performing at Sunday’s show: We Are Hex and Burnt Ones. We Are Hex is an Indianapolis quartet that’s been around for a couple of years, but they only recently released their first full length record, Gloom Bloom, a record that’s been hailed by Indianapolis media and national media alike as an “angular post punk” landscape that at once unsettles and draws the listener in for more. Recorded entirely in the house the members of the band share, Gloom Bloom showcases the D.I.Y. aesthetic of the band, a value shared by other Indy music pillars like ES Jungle and The Dojo. We Are Hex’s music is slightly more upbeat and original than the sludge punk of Woven Bones; expect lots of keys, a myriad of dirge-like synths, haunting delayed guitar, and the chillingly wraith-like vocals of the band’s female lead singer. We Are Hex is dark, dark, dark, perfect for a weekend of storms.

Video of We Are Hex performing “Cutter/Giver” live at the Melody Inn in Indianapolis; We Are Hex will be playing at the Vollrath Tavern with Woven Bones and Burnt Ones on June 27

And then there’s Burnt Ones. With a hit single titled “Gonna Listen to T Rex (All Night Long),” you can probably take a good guess as to what this Indianapolis band sounds like. Summer fun Beach Boys melodies mixed with T-Rex style wall of sound guitar, booming drums, and atmospheric background vocals a la Animal Collective combine in Burnt One’s forthcoming LP, Black Teeth and Golden Tongues, set to come out in August on Roaring Colonel Records, a record label run by My Old Kentucky Blog, an Indianapolis blog that is also the home of We Are Hex. The music of this Indianapolis trio is hazy, psychedelic, bouncy, and undeniably sunny. For all the “three hundred buzzing guitars at once” atmosphere, there are still lots of poppy melodies, ooh la la vocals, and the general vibe of a blissed out good time. After hearing Burnt Ones, getting dipped into the dirty sludge pile of We Are Hex and Woven Bones will be all the more brooding.

Video of Burnt Ones performing live at LUNA Music in Indianapolis; Burnt Ones are playing with Woven Bones and We Are Hex at the Vollrath Tavern on June 27

If you want to see some of the best art rock that’s coming out of the Indianapolis nightlife scene, head on over to the Vollrath Tavern on Sunday night. This Indianapolis bar will be home to lots of mopey Indianapolis art students wielding instruments with great relish. If you haven’t heard the latest batch of droning psychedelia to come out of the United States, the Vollrath can give you a good sampling with the fuzzy lineup of Woven Bones, We Are Hex, and Burnt Ones. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., and tickets are $6 in advance, pretty good for a night of hazy punk rock. If you do go, don’t forget to bring your umbrella; these bands will make you feel like you’re in the middle of a midnight power outage caused by neon purple lightning.

Woven Bones, We Are Hex, Burnt Ones at The Vollrath Tavern
8:00 p.m.; Tickets $6

Woven Bones
We Are Hex
Burnt Ones


The Vollrath Tavern
118 E Palmer St
Indianapolis, IN 46225

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