Austin Punk Invasion, By David Ensminger, 86 pgs.

Dec 13, 2019

Punk historian and ex-Texas Biscuit Bombs drummer David Ensminger brings you a cool little window in the late ’70s and early ’80s Austin punk scene co-written by the folks involved. The slim book features interviews with members of Terminal Mind, The Offenders, The Huns, The Next, and the Hickoids. Within the interviews, we learn about Raul’s, a hub for weirder Austin bands in the early ’80s that would often hit its 150-something capacity. There are a couple of excerpts about strange dealings with Roky Erikson and a lot of kind words about Randy “Biscuit” Turner of the Big Boys.

It also features essays by notable punk talking heads. Gary Floyd of the Dicks contributes a very sweet and poignant stream of consciousness essay about getting older and losing friends. Dave Dictor shares his 2017 M.D.C. tour diary. Ron Posner of M.D.C. tells the truth on why they canceled their tour with Bad Brains in 1982. (Spoiler—H.R. is a homophobic butthole.)

The book’s pages are covered in fliers and photos from forty years ago. So many names are dropped that will find yourself jotting down ancient bands to check out later.

Toward the back of the book are some short personal history bits by Tracey Torres of Black Salve and Sophie Rousmaniere of Elected Officials. Both of these are fine reads but seem like an attempt to get more women in the book due to the early Austin punk scene having close to zero women in bands. The cover states that there is something from a member of MeanGirls, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, there is another personal history essay by Marc Ruvolo of the Fur Coats and Das Kapital.

 Anywho, it’s a quick read that seems like it should be Austin Punk Invasion #1 opposed to a one-shot. We need more punk history written by the ones who made history. –Rick V. (Left of the Dial Book, [email protected])