Reading this article about Fenix TX reforming brought back all sorts of memories of my time around Houston-based pop-punk. I came into pop-punk a little late the game in the late-90s (high school was ending, college was starting) after I was a Green Day and face to face fan for a few years. Fenix TX (originally named Riverfenix), 30footFALL and Middlefinger were some of the more popular Houston-based bands at the time. Now that I know what the Fenix TX guys are up to, I wonder what some of those other bands are up to.
Believe it or not, but I never saw 30footFALL play a show in Houston. They played packed shows at Fitzgerald's all the time, but I never got around to seeing them. The first (and only) time I saw them was in Dallas at Trees back in 1998. They put out a record on Nitro (Ever Revolving, Never Evolving) and toured with the Offspring, but other than that, that was the last I heard of them.
I saw Riverfenix and Middlefinger play live only once (both times were on the second stage at Buzzfest) and I was impressed (then again, I was under the spell of all things pop-punk at the time). As time has worn on, I've realized that a lot of silly pop-punk doesn't age well. Whenever I think of a lot of Houston-based pop-punk back in those days, I think of it as generic, watered-down Fat Wreck-styled goofiness. I think this is kind of sad.
Maybe it was my limited exposure to what was really out there back in the day, but I can only think of those as representing Houston pop-punk. I got so sick of sloppy and fast pop-punk after a few years that when bands on Drive-Thru started making the rounds, I pretty much checked out of that style. I still dig out my Strung Out, Green Day, face to face and various other records from time to time, but I rarely pull out a lot of that other stuff. Sure, this was what "the kids" wanted back in the day, but where are "the kids" now? I say they're listening to other stuff that isn't confined to crunchy power chords, galloping drumbeats, toilet humor and snotty vocals.