We're loud. We play rock and roll with guitar solos. But we're not "ironic," we're just good. We play pop songs really loudly somewhere in the space between Wilco and Dinosaur Jr. Or from The Replacements to Built to Spill.


1986 is the project of Giorgio Angelini, Cully Symington, and Drew Pennebaker. The three have known each other for years and played in other bands, but never together until 2004. Now on Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About 1986 prove they should have been doing this a long time ago. Their music, which draws from varied influences like Zeppelin, Wilco, and the Saints, is a timeless paradigm of American indie rock, catchy but poignant without being tired or overdone. Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About is hum-along songs about girls and life and it’s fucking brilliant.

Giorgio knows something about girls and life. In fact, if not for one girl, he might have had a completely different life. Giorgio went to high school at St. John’s, Wes Anderson’s alma mater and the set for Rushmore. Parts were being cast with actual students of St. John’s, so Giorgio auditioned. After waiting by the phone thinking he didn’t get the part, Giorgio went on a church trip because of a girl he was chasing; when he returned, he had missed a call-back for a part in the movie. His friend who took the part after he missed out on it ended up at the MTV Movie Awards. It’s this kind of unfortunate happenstance that creates the backdrop for the songwriting on 1986’s Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About.

Giorgio met Cully a few years ago in Austin because Cully was widely understood to be the best drummer in town. Giorgio is also a drummer (he plays with The Rosebuds) so he was a tough critic, but Cully’s skills were impressive, so they got together and started practicing. They had been playing together about three months and looking for a bassist when Giorgio ran into his old friend Drew, who he hadn’t seen in 10 years, on the bus one day and asked him to join. Things clicked. The band has had the proverbial rotating cast of second guitarists over the last couple of years, but have decided to stick to their charmed three piece.

1986’s first recording was a self-released EP, and though if was only released in Austin, the recording featured collaborations from some unexpected characters: Jeff Pinkus from Butthole Surfers helped out, as did Bill Elm from Friends of Dean Martinez et al, and Chris Masterson, guitarist for Hank III. The band was still very young then, but Austin already knew what they had in Giorgio Angelini and company. On this new release, Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About, Mark Deutron of The Melvins produced and played guitar, and Thom Monahan (producer for Pernice Bros, Silver Jews, et al) was the mixer.

Though 1986 has had a successful beginning with lots of praise from friends and fellow musicians, their favorite story happened one night at the Hole in the Wall in Austin: Roky Erickson had come to see his brother, Sumner, open for the band and was going to leave before 1986’s set. Giorgio convinced Roky to stick around, and the band opened the set with a cover of 13th Floor Elevator’s “You’re Going to Miss Me.” Roky was moved to tears by the touching homage, never realizing the affect his music has had on the younger generation, and later named 1986 as one of his favorite Austin bands in an interview with Texas Music Monthly.

Whatever opinion you may form about 1986, the talent and heart is undeniable, and, with its steady stream of great songs, Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About is guaranteed to get stuck in your player and in your head.


"Nihilism is Nothing to Worry About" - 2006

Set List

Sets are 35-45 minutes. Non-stop blistering rock. Covers include 13th floor elevators and Butthole Surfers