No one can accuse Austin's Jason McMaster of resting on his laurels. The local hair metal hero has been very busy since the "official" end of Dangerous Toys in 1996. Aside from numerous side gigs, and various reunion shows with Watchtower and Dangerous Toys, Jason is in two bands that have been perfecting their chops around town in a number of the louder faster harder clubs. I caught his show with the band Broken Teeth recently when they opened for the L.A.Guns at the Red Eyed Fly.
Loud, fast, hard, yes yes all those adjectives apply, but what I saw was also a far more professional show than most of the other local bands I've seen around town. Performing onstage since 1986, Jason has assembled a band of similar pros, and it's apparent almost from minute one. Working the stage and the audience with the talent and experience of a world class touring band, you have to wonder what could have been had not grunge driven a stake through the heart of the metal movement. If it weren't for grunge, either of Jason's bands would probably be headlining at some huge arena somewhere. As it is, they are easily one of Austin's best bands, and that's a pretty big accomplishment in a town that bills itself as the "Live Music Capitol of the World."
Jason McMaster and Broken Teeth photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
It had probably been ten years or more since my last Toys show, but I was half expecting this lanky, wiry kid in makeup and hairspray to show up to sing. Needless to say, Jason has pretty much grown up, I didn't see much hairspray in use, and the makeup has been replaced by tats. I have kind of kept a distant eye on Jason's career over the years. I first saw him with Watchtower in the 80s when it was still pretty much a high school band. They actually played at several parties I went to, and Jason had far fewer tattoos back then. Then I saw him break out with the band Dangerous Toys, practically living at Austin's Back Room and ruling the local metal scene until they broke nationally. If you get the chance, Broken Teeth is definitely worth seeing.
New Disaster at the Red Eyed Fly photo by jeff barringer - staff photographer
Austin band New Disaster opened the show and they seem to be going places. They appear to have attracted their own core following, which was very much in evidence for their set. They too were loud and fast, with an awesome guitarist, Abel Idle. They have some interesting friends too; Austin's own famous music journalist Metal Dave was there blessing Abel's guitar, as was Insite Magazine's photographer Jay West. Their set was smoking and it won't be long before they attract some major label attention. They sure got mine.
I wish I could have stuck around for the L.A. Guns set, but by the time they hit the stage I was already three songs into the Skunks show at the Continental Club. I'll have to catch the Guns next time.