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Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Pop Electro




"Versus Review"

Since compact discs have become expendable vessels of digital information, destined for upload then discarded, CDs worth cherishing are now increasingly rare. You won't throw away Versus, a collaborative project of give-and-take covers by Borrisokane and like-minded locals, lovingly housed in a die-cut wooden box containing six EPs that can be puzzled into a visual collage. Each extended play features art-pop specialists Borrisokane covering a contributing band that returns the favor. Darkwave ensemble Knifight's powerhouse cover of its sponsors' "Victoria, Please" stands single-worthy, while Home by Hovercraft takes the host band's "Thank You for Being So Nice and Cooperative" into dramatic pop territory. Major Major Major ups the energy with a garage version of "Amelia Fucking Earhart." Vice versa, the diverse Borrisokane can be found roaring through Young Tongue's excellent "Family Happiness" and then sedate on Yum's "Medicine and Tea" with Rebecca Asuan-O'Brien, one of Borrisokane's three vocalists, showcasing. Each disc also features unreleased tracks, the best of which, Pageantry's "Soft Circles," recalls the Cure on an Afro-beat kick. This Herculean, 26-track effort plays out more hand-in-hand than head-to-head. Perhaps it should be titled Unity. - Austin Chronicle

"Homegrown Live and The Versus Project"

When we first heard of The Versus Project through their kickstarter page, the emphasis of community, colaboration and creation struck a chord with us. We're all about supporting the Austin music scene. We strive to connect bands with new fans and we recognize that we are all part of a special community. A little eco-system that feeds each other. So of course, we wanted to shine a spotlight on this unique homegrown community colaboration.

We talked with Josh Denslow of Borrisokane:

What exactly is the Versus Project?

In short, the Versus Project is a collection of new songs from Borrisokane spread across six “Versus” EPs featuring some of our favorite bands. In addition to brand new music from everyone involved, we covered a song from each band and each band covered one of our songs.

THE BANDS = Major Major Major, Pageantry, Young Tongue, Home By Hovercraft, Knifight, and Yum

(Yes, we’re very lucky.)

What inspired you to curate this project?

When it came time for Borrisokane to begin work on a new EP, we wanted to change it up a bit. We’re a part of this amazing music community, and we figured there must be some way to include our friends and fellow musicians.

When I pitched the idea of the Versus Project to the rest of Borrisokane, they were of course very excited. But they thought there was no way anyone else would climb aboard this crazy train.

Turns out, every band we wanted not only agreed, but soon began recording covers of our songs that were infinitely better than our original versions. It has been an exciting and humbling experience. There’s real talent here and we’re honored that every time someone picks up the Versus Project, they get to hear all these bands.

How did it all come together?

Picking the bands was easy. We thought about all the great bands we’d been playing with and listening to over the last year or so. It was pretty apparent that every member of Borrisokane was throwing out the same band names. And that was that.

Once the bands were tasked with recording their covers and new songs, we began work on the art. The backs of each CD combine to form a stunning collage created by Shawn Magill and the very talented Claire Morales did the design for each disc using Shawn’s art and designed the box in which they will live.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing Dennis Harvey who has mastered all of Borrisokane’s output as well as everything that appears on The Versus Project. He’s a hell of a musician and our songs would be a lot different without his input.

How can we get our hands on the music?

We ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in February where we took pre-orders for an actual wooden box containing all 6 discs. There will only be a handful of these beautiful boxes designed by Claire Morales beyond what was ordered in the Kickstarter, so get to the show early if you want one. After that, only individual discs will be available at shows and through the usual digital outlets.

What can we expect at the release show?

You can expect two hours of music from all seven bands structured much like a two act play. Forget about set times, this is a full-on performance piece. Not only will the bands be playing songs from their catalogues, but they’ll be performing cover songs and collaborating with each other on stage. If all goes as planned, at some point in the evening, you’ll see all seven bands on stage at one time. We’ve been working toward this release show for almost a year now. I don’t think you’ll want to miss it.

Aug. 23 at Scoot Inn
Doors at 7p, with Octant at 8p and The Versus Project at 9p - 101X

"Austin Music Minute: Those Murdering Teeth"

There’s nothing particularly murderous on Murdering Teeth, the new EP by local quintet (and one of my favorite “synth-punk gloom wonders” – my own words) Borrisokane. But it takes a certain skill to present the darkest subject matter in somewhat light and poppy tones. This is their poetry.

I call it a cross between giddy and gloom, perhaps not so much “giddy” as “lovelorn,” but definitely cheerful-sounding melodies. They’ve always created an elegant contrast between dancey electronic pop and rather darkened moods. Murdering Teeth is fueled by this mix, crossing surf rock sounds and upbeat rhythms with a sort of Joy Division/Jesus & Mary Chain-era melancholy.

Danceable melancholy? Sign me up. Don’t miss Borrisokane’s EP release show tonight at the gorgeous Austin Scottish Rite Theater, 207 W. 18th St. Tonight is a very special occasion for a number of reasons. The first 100 attendees will receive a free copy of Murdering Teeth, and Borrisokane’s performance will include guest appearances by members of local bands Growl, Schmillion, and Knifight. The bill also includes performances by Black Books, who are about to embark on a big UK tour for the Dot To Dot Festival in Bristol, Manchester, and Nottingham, as well as a show at Roundhouse in London with The Flaming Lips; and Letting Up Despite Great Faults.

What a spectacular line-up, literally a triple bill from the heavens. Doors open at 8 p.m. Highly recommended. - KUTX

"Feel Your Evil / Clean Bill of Health single review"

After a bloodcurdling scream opens “Feel Your Evil / Clean Bill of Health,” Borrisokane dives into sugary background oohs and ahhs as a baritone, classic-horror-film-narrator vocal track drones over shiny guitars and upbeat snare hits. This eventually gives way to a swirling mess of noise and ominous synths. Local celeb Laurie Gallardo once referred to this band as “gloom-pop” and it’s fitting, but I’m coming to see it as horror-pop. There’s a darkness here to be sure, and the band’s tunes evoke the same sort of blend of campy austerity and playfulness of an Evil Dead flick. It’s like The Cramps with all the pscyho, none of the billy, and a lot more electronics. However you slice it, Borrisokane’s new track is a triumph, a promise of great things to come from this band. The track will be part of one of the six EPs to be released in a box set as The Versus Project. See more about the project here, and keep your ears open for a release show happening next month. - Pop Press International

"Borrisokane 'Disaster Face' (Local Music Round-up of 2012)"

Don't let a seemingly innocuous title like "Do the Squirmy Worm" fool you. Despite bouncy keyboard lines and skittering Afro-pop guitar, the first salvo on Borrisokane's second five-song EP comes grounded in gloom. The sextet's darkened atmospherics allude to synth-punk pioneers Suicide, with lyrical themes to match. Of course, plying these sentiments against dynamic, people-pleasing song structures can't help but lighten the mood. The end of the world is no reason to stop making ear worms. (3 stars) - The Austin Chronicle

"Austin Band Borrisokane Talks About Upcoming Utopiafest Performance"

Austin’s music scene is diverse to be sure. However, few bands exercise the kind of diversity within their body of work as Austin’s Borrisokane. They’ve been called dream pop, gloom pop, synth pop, indie rock, horror rock, dark pop, and so on. Borrisokane’s ability to defy being placed into box is what makes them so convincing as a band. Outside of drummer Josh Denslow being a published writer and organizing an epic collaborative box set featuring six different Austin bands, he and fellow Borrisokane member Rebecca Asuan-O’brien managed to start a family this year with the birth of their son, Elijah. All that, and they’re still making the trip out to play Utopiafest this weekend. Color me impressed. Below, Denslow answers a few questions in advance of their performance at Utopiafest, Saturday at noon. By the way, there are less than 50 weekend passes to Utopiafest left, buy yours here.

POP PRESS INTL: Utopiafest always brings out quite a few local acts; how are you feeling about being ambassadors of Austin’s music community out at Utopiafest?

Josh Denslow: With Utopia only a few hours a way, it makes sense to bring in some Austin bands. We’re pretty excited to play to new people, but also see some of our friends. And we are grateful to be ambassadors of the wonderful music community we have brewing in town. We feel pretty lucky all around.

PPI: What are the best and worst experiences you’ve ever had at a festival as a band or an attendee?

JD: My biggest problem with festivals is that there is always two bands I really want to see playing at the same time. So I’m hoping that my “best” festival experience will be this weekend with no overlapping stages. The entire Utopiafest is watching one band at a time. That’s amazing.

PPI: What aspects of Utopiafest’s remote locale are you looking forward to?

JD: Rebecca and I live in Dripping Springs, so I’m excited to go somewhere even more remote than here. Plus when we leave the house with all our equipment, we’ll be going the opposite direction than we normally travel for shows.

PPI: What touring acts are you excited to share a bill with out at Utopiafest?

JD: I think all of us are excited about different acts. Derek won’t stop talking about GZA. He’s great and all, but I’m pretty sure he’s playing with Bernie Worrell who is even more awesome. I’m pretty pumped about Kishi Bashi too. Ryker wants to see Dan Deacon. Rebecca just wants to make sure we all get to our set on time. Which, by the way, is noon on Saturday.

PPI: In your deepest dreams, what is your utopia?

JD: Traveling the world with Rebecca and our son Elijah. I can’t think of anything better. - Pop Press International

"Album Review: 'Murdering Teeth' by Austin's Borrisokane is a psychedelic surf rock ride on a plane crashing into the ocean"

Last week, Austin-based surf rock band Borrisokane sent me a copy of their forthcoming “Murdering Teeth” EP. I loved last year’s “Disaster Face” EP, so I was excited to give it a listen.

Out on May 14th, Murdering Teeth shows amazing growth for the band. Full of swirling layers of sound, the EP shows the band diving gleefully into a more psychedelic, no wave realm. Swimming with tripped out surf rock, Murdering Teeth can most wholly be compared to: My Bloody Valentine riding the Chill wave; The Pixies doing whippits on acid; The Jesus and Mary Chain in speedos, bathed in tanning oil; Or Beach House in a steam punk video.

Here’s my track by track review of the Murdering Teeth by Borrisokane:

Amelia Fucking Earhart:
The 1st track starts with us flying up inside an old-timey, all metal airplane. The wind is blowing by. Fluffy clouds caress the plane’s underbelly. But all is not right: This is Amelia Earhart’s airplane–and it’s about to crash into the ocean! Waves of bells vocals and guitars wash over the listener. Then handclaps, like twirling propellers, add to the swirling mix, followed by more cymbals: Crash! Crash! Crash! The vocals become more distorted as the plane bursts into flame: “Tell me again about Superman!”

[LISTEN to Borrisokane's Amelia Fucking Earhart over at Side One Track One]

Victoria, Please
2nd track, Victoria Please, opens with a new order beat and a dancing synth line, followed by building chords and a steel guitar creating the combined effect of flying over waves, heading towards a tropical island shore. Vocals: “I’ll be someone else for you. Never tell the truth to you…” and then the live-drummed disco beats kick in as the singer pushes truth…he’ll do what it takes till he gets his way. Music builds, crescendoing up as he builds his confidence, he’s gonna ask her out.
Thank You For Being So Nice And Cooperative
Track 3 features a fast tapping, melancholy guitar dancing through vocals and classic chords with a surfed out beat that hits like a Pixie’s track on acid. Distorted, chill vocals sing, “We’re all fucking crazy, don’t you think so” Reminds me of an old plane flying through a mushroom cloud as an atom bomb goes off. My favorite track on the album.

Single Moms
Track 4, Single Moms, is probably the most experimental track on the album. It starts off slow with French vocal sample followed by waves of bass and some tweaking string sounds. Then pianos build into a pyschedelic surf rock instrumental that combines some deep bass with a little bit of a 90s techno “whoo whoo” vocals layered in the background.

Indoor Outdoor Paleontologist Blues
Sun slowly rising at the edge of the ocean. A metal bowie floats, rocking back and forth as light starts to hit the waves. Then warm vocals reflect and dance off the surface of the water. It’s the height of the day. The birds come to the beach. The people set up their blankets. Little kids running around. It’s the 1950s. Young couples arrive. There’s a lot of teenage hormones running around. Does he like me? Should I go talk to her? Emotions start to swoon. Passion builds. Then they kiss! And the sun starts to set. It was a perfect day.

You can cop the album next Tuesday, May 14th, on the band’s bandcamp. You can also check out the official album release party on May 17th at The Scottish Rite Theater (Facebook Invite).

The band asked me not to post any tracks off the album, but they did send over this killer remix of Amelia Fucking Earhart by Mike Lee of Letting Up Despite Great Faults. Enjoy! - Republic of Austin

"Live show review with Octopus Project and Tele Novella"

Friday night was freezing cold, and it still didn’t stop Austin from coming out to the Mohawk to see three bands that excel among the city’s bevy of performing artists. The crowd was impressively sizeable despite the cold from the onset, but grew to almost fill the Mohawk’s outdoor space as the night wore on.

Borrisokane opened the night with their blend of electronic pop and indie-rock. With synth-string flourishes and propulsive beats, the band recalls Joy Division and like-minded new wave artists. Too, the artistic similarities to headliners The Octopus Project should be noted. Before the show, drummer Josh Denslow expressed great enthusiasm for playing on Mohawk’s outdoor stage and opening for Octopus Project, whom he praised highly. It’s always refreshing to see a young band thrilled at the opportunity to play music.

The cold seemed to matter little to the band as they cranked out indie pop jams cut with an edge of neurotic wildness. Every time I’ve seen Borrisokane, they’ve been great. The band is still resides in an undercurrent of Austin’s independent music scene, but the band is quietly becoming an undeniable indie-rock powerhouse.

Tele Novella played next, and the cold seemed to enhance the band’s energy rather than derail it. Frontwoman Natalie Ribbons bounced around the stage and rocked harder then I’ve seen her in an apparent attempt to stay warm. The members of Tele Novella have assembled from the parts of former bands Agent Ribbons, Voxtrot, and Belaire. These Austin musicians have always been in solid bands, but it does feel that Tele Novella has captured attention locally and nationally in a way that previous projects (save Voxtrot) have been able to. The band is young, but there’s an energy surrounding them. We have our fingers crossed for a full-length soon.

I’ve seen The Octopus Project before, but for some reason, on this cold Friday in December, their set impressed more so than ever. For one, I haven’t seen the band perform with that particular set of visual projections, which featured patterns of color and light as well as faces and animations. Secondly, the band has truly reached a level of tightness seen only in an upper echelon of performers. It only makes sense, as the band relies on instrumentation and eschews lyrics, but this level of calibration and cohesion is truly staggering. Fans at the show remained completely enamored for the duration, and several avid concertgoers arrived at the front of the stage early in the night and braved the elements through to the end. The Octopus Project has certainly reached a new height in my estimation, and I look forward to catching them again soon - Pop Press International

"Premiere of Knifight Cover song"

You may remember earlier this year when we premiered Knifight’s “Victoria Please,” a cover of a Borrisokane song that came from an ambitious work called The Versus Project. The gist of The Versus Project is that over six discs it gathers together a group of local bands to cover some of Borrisokane’s material and then has Borrisokane return the favor to those groups. Since everything is a circle, we’re premiering Borrisokane’s cover of Knifight’s “Never Coming Home,” right in time for the release party for The Versus Project tomorrow at Scoot Inn. We think you’ll like Borrisokane’s haunting, Kate Bush infused take on “Never Coming Home” (we’ve included the synth poppy original version below, too) and keep your eyes out for more The Versus Project posts on the site. - OVRLD

"The Versus Project – Borrisokane & Major Major Major (Premiere)"

If you like ambitious endeavors, then look no further than The Versus Project. Curated by locals Borrisokane (and to be released by Oscillation Records), The Versus Project is a six-EP box set that features a whole variety of things. There’s Borrisokane covering each of the six contributing acts, all of the contributing acts covering Borrisokane, and also six new Borrisokane songs to go with a new track from each of the contributing acts. Whew. It’s definitely a lot (12 covers and 12 originals, to be exact), but it’s also one of the more rad things to come out of Austin in 2014, so the extra effort required to get it all straight is worth your time. We promise.

Now, with that out of the way, let’s get on with the premiere of the Borrisokane VS Major Major Major portion of the box set. Both songs are completely different than their original takes, but that’s what I love about them. Why bother with a project like this unless you’re going to shake some stuff up, right? Enjoy.

:Borrisokane – God Doesn’t Want Us (Major Major Major Cover):
:Major Major Major – Amelia Fucking Earhart (Borrisokane Cover):

For fun, here are the original versions …

:Borrisokane – Amelia Fucking Earhart:
:Major Major Major – God Doesn’t Want Us:

By the way, Borrisokane, the contributing bands and 101X Homegrown are getting together at the Scoot Inn on August 23 to celebrate the release of The Versus Project. You do not want to miss the show. Join the event on Facebook and check out the poster below. - Side One Track One

"Utopian Living: Highlights from Utopiafest"

It’s awesome to see Utopiafest booking big names, but they always do a great job of bringing in local bands at the other end of the notoriety spectrum, such as Saturday’s opening act Borrisokane. We’ve praised the band quite a bit lately, and were proud to premiere music from their most recent effort, a highly ambitious box set featuring new music from six different Austin bands. The group sounded better than ever with a nice festival audio set-up bringing their music to the crowd. If you still haven’t heard them, change that soon. - Pop Press International

"Versus Project Showcases Local Band Collaboration at Scoot Inn: Live Review"

For months, we’ve been telling you about The Versus Project — an ambitious collaboration between some of Austin’s best bands that resulted in the release of a six disc box set of EPs orchestrated and organized by Borrisokane drummer Josh Denslow. The EPs include new music by Borrisokane, Young Tongue, Yum, Pageantry, Home by Hovercraft, Knifight, and Major Major Major as well as Borrisokane covering material by each band, and each band covering Borrisokane in turn. Saturday night at Scoot Inn brought the collaboration to life, with a live show featuring all of the parties involved.

Each of the bands played a mini-set of their own material, and many of the covers from the box set appeared through the night. Additionally, members of various bands joined each other onstage to perform covers, play guest parts on songs, and engage in experimental, rock-out jam sessions. The spectacle of so many performers sharing the stage and alternating in frenzied set-changes was a testament to the project’s vastness. The night ended in an epic rendition of Paul Simon’s “Obvious Child” that had almost every member of every band onstage and featured vocals by Growl’s Santiago Deitche.

More importantly, what these bands have come together to achieve represents the community of musicians Austin is lucky to house. Here are artists that share not only stages but also songs and ideas. They support one another in stoking the fire of creative energy that burns hotly in Austin, making it one of the most active music scenes in the world. A vital part of an artistic community is a supportive audience; we too are part of this community. If you love local music, find releases by these artists online or at your local records store, and support them by buying their music. Within a few hours of this post being live, you should be able to purchase the Versus Project right here. Keep an eye out for these artists and get out there and see some live music, friends. - Pop Press International

"Best Emerging Artists 2013 Dream Pop / Shoegazer"

You might think the gloom-titled lyric-ed EP Disaster Face would dump minor chords all over you, but [Borrisokane] tear it off with synth-powered, danceable, smiley grace; plating this collection right down in the must have set. - The Deli Magazine SXSW Issue

"Austin Music Minute: Something From A Dream"

...synth-punk gloom-wonders... - KUTX

"Borrisokane, Paul Banks & the Carousels, Burgess Meredith"

Spry openers Borrisokane skitter from esoteric to cacophonous as they ride the curl between post-punk and synth-pop.
- The Austin Chronicle

"Borrisokane (Single Premier)"

It’s been a year since the Austin-based Borrisokane put out the well received Disaster Face EP, so the timing is right for them to be returning with a little something to make sure we’re all still paying attention. On May 14 the band will set free the Murdering Teeth EP, and then on May 17 they’ll celebrate its release by playing a show at the Scottish Rite Theater with lots of special guests and sets from Black Books, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, and Tiger Waves. It will be a can’t miss night! For now, though, you’ll just need to calm yourself and get on with checking out their new single, which is making its debut here at SOTO. Enjoy.

:Borrisokane – Amelia Fucking Earhart (A.F.E.): The first bit of this plays things kind of quiet, but it isn’t long before the song swells, sweeps you up, and then refuses to let go. What a nice ride. If you happen to not be aware of how crafty Borrisokane can be, then I imagine this track will bring you around. - Side One Track One

"Borrisokane Exclusive Video Premier"

I’m not sure if Amelia Earhart ever flew over Hawaii in her ventures of exploration and pioneering, but the members of Borrisokane (pronounced BORE – RISS – OH – KANE) definitely visit Luau Proper on their opening track “Amelia Fucking Earhart” off their new EP Murdering Teeth. While Earhart sought a ride on the wings of equality, Borrisokane’s latest artistry glides on the waves of bizarre-bazaar song-titles and 80s fluro-crafted sounds, bouncing between an array of traditional surf rock riffs (think The Chantay’s “Pipeline”) and synth-pop jewels. Members Derek Asuan-O’Brien, Josh Denslow, Rebecca Asuan-O’Brien, Ryker Brown, and Mars Wright (aka solo act Honey Son) micro-blend a cosmos of original tunes like pixie dust on vintage.

Sung by Rebecca Asuan-O’Brien, “Amelia Fucking Earhart” unintentionally leaves you strewn over a bed of guilt about Earhart’s tragic fate but then enters, “Victoria, Please.” It gives way to unrequited romance, suggesting, “Lips that hesitate/Hips that shimmy shake/And I’ll just hold my breath/Until I get my way.” However, instead of cue cards and a boombox ergo director Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything with a baby-faced John Cusack, singer Derek Asuan-O’Brien seduces the lyrics with brooding glam rock fashion; David Bowie’s “As The World Falls Down” on the Labyrinth soundtrack comes to mind. Borrisokane does it a little sweeter.

“Thank You For Being So Nice And Crazy” begins with a nice drum stick dribble which drowns into manic midday lamentations about “the birds [being] fucking lazy,” seemingly about the tattered impressions of a failed relationship stripped down to the repetitious question, “We went fucking crazy, don’t you think so?” As the only instrumental track of the EP, “Single Moms” steals the hearts of every mother on Mother’s Day with minimal chanting vocals, posing as an interlude of sorts which could work just as well on a full-length album. “Indoor Outdoor Paleontologist Blues” is a nostalgic track with hushed and soaring vocals, eerily epic with clashing timpani, melancholy guitar, and gentle rabbit-hooved piano. At 7:33, this track plays with an inner chaos, capturing the beauty and sadness of a trash-yard garden, dingy with gloom but never masking the undeniable bloomage beneath.

Presented by Eye in the Sky Collective, OVRLD, RAW PAW, and MissMatch, Borrisokane plays their Murdering Teeth EP Release Party Friday, May 17th at The Scottish Rite Theater along with Black Books (heading off for their UK tour), Letting Up Despite Great Faults, and Tiger Waves, with special guest performances by members of Growl, Schmillion, and Knifight. Visit the event page!
- ovrld

"Slomo Drags, Boy + Kite, The Plastic Habit, Borrisokane, Black Books"

If you’re not too wiped out from tomorrow’s extravaganza, I highly recommend going to Scottish Rite Theatre on Friday for another show chock full of local Austin music goodness. Borrisokane are celebrating the release of their new EP, Murdering Teeth, which features the outstanding single, A.F.E.. The song is guaranteed to get stuck in your head with its sultry vocals, sparkling and squiggly synths, and a chorus worthy of dancing and singing along. Their set will also include performances from three other up and coming local bands – Growl, Schmillion, and Knifight. The first 100 attendees will receive a copy of their EP.

This show also acts as a UK tour send off for psych/dream pop quintet Black Books, who have just released an album across the pond and will be playing some festival dates and opening for The Flaming Lips in London. Those two bands are reason enough to attend, but make sure to note that the evening also features sets from Letting Up Despite Great Faults and Tiger Waves. Awesome. - Side One Track One

"Song of the Day Borrisokane: "AFE""

For the Austin band Borrisokane, making music is a family affair. The group is anchored by brother and sister Derek and Rebecca Asuan-O’Brien and includes Rebecca’s husband Josh Denslow.

It all started a few years back when Derek was dealing the heartbreak of a failed engagement. His sister and her husband convinced him to participate in a performance art piece, and soon after, the three moved to Austin. The band’s current lineup was rounded out by multi-instrumentalist and San Antonio native Mars Wright and bassist Ryker Brown.

Borrisokane’s first EP Disaster Face earned the group praise from the Austin press for “creating a strong atmosphere through use of space and cavernous sounds.” Their newest EP, Murdering Teeth, is sure to do the same thanks in part to a new sound that is filled with surf guitar hooks, reverb, and brightly layered keyboards.

Murdering Teeth was released digitally on May 14th, and Borrisokane is having their EP release party this Friday, May 17th at 8 PM with fellow Austin bands Black Books and Tiger Waves at the famous Scottish Rite Theater. - KUTX

"Made in Austin: Borrisokane, from 'Disaster Face' to 'Murdering Teeth'"

Every band has their “thing,” and one of Borrisokane’s most distinctive factors happens to be that they are a family—by blood, by spirit, by law.

Any band, regardless of the size, working cohesively to create a piece of art, is in itself an enigma. Add to it personal relationships, childhood memories, love, stubbornness and the natural human thirst to fit in or to stand out, and Borrisokane’s ability to successfully work on an album, perform live shows and still have dinner together every Sunday night before watching Game of Thrones as a family, is inspiring.

“We all want what’s best for the band,” explains drummer Josh Denslow. “There’s a lot of separating between ‘What’s the band’ and ‘What’s the family.’”

Borrisokane began as a trio composed of Derek Asuan-O’Brien (guitar, vocals), his sister Rebecca Asuan-O’Brien (keys, guitar, vocals) and her husband Josh Denslow (drums, backing vocals). Their first show wasn’t technically a show but a “live rehearsal” for Art House‘s Rehearsal at the Astoria series in April 2011.

“Borrisokane exists sort of outside of us,” Denslow continues. “Whether or not there is a problem, or if someone disagrees, we end up with ‘Deep down inside everyone wants what is best for the band.’ It helps that we’re a family, because we are able to take the ego out of it and make those hard decisions.”

Rarely do we encounter something, anything, intoxicating yet alluring—something so present yet so hazy, painfully humble and tinged in mystery. Borrisokane’s electronic pop-rock sound is a brilliantly balanced and carefully composed paradox between light and dark, vocals and instrumentation, seriousness headlocked by silliness. They maintain a sound that is so uniquely structured and flawlessly styled you can’t help but to keep it on repeat—and on repeat, you’ll hear something, find something new, each time.

The band survived as a trio for most of its first year before meeting their fourth member, Ryker Brown (bass), at a pool party. Borrisokane’s current lineup was finalized after meeting and immediately bonding with Mars Wright of one-man-band Honey Son (guitar, omnichord) and doing a cover set with him titled Honeykane. In May 2012, the band released their debut EP, five tracks of eclectic, off-kilter and darkly humorous synth-pop titled Disaster Face.

After the release of Disaster Face, Borrisokane kept their live sets interesting with guest performers—local emcee Pojo the Idealist has been known to rap over instrumental songs, and the horn section from Knifight also makes appearances. The band had also been adjusting to the final lineup, performing and experimenting with new content, all of which eventually led to their latest EP.

The band began recording again in January 2013, a process which stretched over four months. This new recording session—the first to feature every member of the finalized lineup—took place in their home out in Dripping Springs, a Hill Country community 20 minutes west of Austin.
During the making of the EP, guitarist/omnichordist Wright described the rehearsal process as being “like murdering teeth.” Whereas most people would say, “pulling teeth,” the band got a kick out of the twist, naming the EP after Wright’s impeccable taste in imagery. The Murdering Teeth EP debuted this week and is available through the band’s Bandcamp page.

“I think that the recording process was similar between the two EPs. We already had the songs worked out,” explained Denslow. “It was just a matter of layering everything together. There was a lot of checks and balances, a lot of positivity.”

There is an evident contrast between the band’s EPs. Disaster Face encompassed a whimsical and lighthearted air, whereas Murdering Teeth captivates a somber mentality with darker imagery. During the writing and recording process of their debut, Derek says that he was in a sad place and overcame his struggle through humor and whimsicality. True to human psychology, a natural way to approach struggle and pain is with a degree of lightness and a sense of humor. By contrast, Murdering Teeth was written during a brighter era as things were looking up.

“We were okay,” Denslow said, “which allowed us to explore some of the things we weren’t able to explore before. We could go into different territories. I know for me as a writer of fiction, if I’m really in a bad place or bad mood, I write my funniest stuff. That’s a way of coping.”

In addition to personal experiences influencing Murdering Teeth, the band also considers South American music as an evident inspiration for the sophomore EP’s style and sound. The EP opener and lead single, “Amelia Fucking Earhart”, for instance, is the band’s take on a constructive bossa nova.

“The second song (“Victoria, Please”) is like a messed up tropicalia song,” Derek further explained about the South American influence. “The third song (“Thank You For Being So Nice And Cooperative”) was going to have claves in it, but that’s - Red River Noise

"Borrisokane EP Release Party at Scottish Rite Theater Live Review"

Borrisokane weaves mutli-textured pop music, employing an unexpected blend of guitars electric and acoustic and sounds synthetic and organic. Though many of the bands with which Pop Press International has fallen in love (pretty much all the openers: Tiger Waves, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, and Black Books) seem to run in a similar crowd of bands, we were somehow in the dark on Borrisokane until recently. Not only can Borrisokane put together a stellar bill, but their own live show is an eventful and theatrical barrage of sound emanating from a rich cast of characters.The night’s most outrageous moments included an epic cover of “Be My Baby,” featuring 8 drummers, 6 singers, 3 guitars, 2 horns, 1 vocoder, several guitars and a bassist (according to the group’s Facebook page) as well as an appearance by rapper Pojo the Idealist who spit rhymes over electronic beats laid down by the cast of Borrisokane. However, even when the group is whittled down to their standard lineup of five, they create full and rich pop that wavers between introspective moods and upbeat indie rock as on EP highlight “Thank You For Being So Nice and Cooperative.” The quirky chorus of voices and skittering organs and drums behind baritone vocals make an uncanny but undeniably delightful mix.
Not only did Borrisokane pull out all the musical stops for the evening, they also created fun ways for attendees to engage with the spirit of festivities such as providing masks garnished with lines matching their trademark face paint. Formal attire was encouraged preceding the event and many concertgoers were donned in suits and formal dresses, making the occasion feel celebratory and festive.
Despite the fact that the primary purpose of the night seemed to be Borrisokane’s EP release (which you can purchase here), Black Books actually headlined as the event functioned as a tour kickoff for dates overseas that will include music festivals and performances with The Flaming Lips. Before these co-headliners, Letting Up Despite Great Faults navigated a set of delicate, dreamy electro-pop and Tiger Waves provided songs full of hazy indie-rock. Almost any time we cover a hometown show, it’s easy to believe that Austin may have the best local bands in the nation. - Pop Press International

"Review of Disaster Face EP by The Deli Austin"

Listening to “Suehiro” with little to no sleep is a very bad decision. The jarring synth makes one think that the Daleks are hunting you and, with the dark and often destructive lyrics of Borrisokane, it doesn’t seem very likely that any handsome time lords are coming to save you. YOU’RE GOING TO DIE.

Overall Borrisokane’s EP Disaster Face seems stripped down and minimalistic. But each instrument is placed well within the confines of each track, successfully furthering the mood of the piece. Borrisokane has created a strong atmosphere through its use of space and cavernous sounds but truly this album is based around rhythm. The drums are often the center piece for each song, as if the drummer were conducting the band.

The opening track, “Do The Squirmy Worm” has an excellent groove while the guitar skips and scurries over the rest of the song. The tone of the lyrics and cutesy sounding sythns will remind Austin music lovers of the most palpable Baker Family. Borrisokane’s lyrics however have a hint more humor to them (“Elizabeth” for instance: “Let’s flood the basement, let’s set the cats free,”). Bouncing Paul McCartney pianos are always welcome and I particularly enjoyed the anti-ending of “Do The Squirmy Worm”. The tracks “Sinking Catalina” and “Isotel” are equally lovely. The warmth in “Isotel’s” guitar tone is matched only by the gorgeous string section (piccicato is always a plus) and the wonderful vocals by Rebecca Asuan-O'Brien.

Too often songs will telegraph the end of the tune. This is a fault that Borrisokane makes light of in one track and then falls for in the next. The climax of “Elizabeth”, while having an excellent placement of horns, announces the ending a bit too loudly. And in contrast with the subtlety of the rest of the album, it comes off as a bit obvious. The clear climax of “Isotel” is far more successful. The juxtaposition sells the transition and right as this new section of the song hooks the listener with a wonderful melting guitar tone, the whole album stops rather abruptly; kinda like this review. -Taylor Browne
- The Deli Austin

"'NITES Blog"

Off-kilter, upbeat indie rock. A little weird, a little warm. Perfect rainy day music. - Twitter

"Austin Powell of The Austin Chronicle"

Like Octopus Project for black comedies instead of anime. - Twitter

"Annar Verold (Red River Noise blog)"

Borrisokane's Disaster Face EP is a collection of moving percussion, titillating guitar chords and plucking, and the perfect contrast between the electronic keyboard and darkly-tinged lyrics. - Red River Noise

"Austin’s The Octopus Project Heat Things Up at The Mohawk"

The night began with another local band, Borrisokane. Sounding like a mesh of post punk and synth pop mixed with originality and intrigue, the group set out to play a handful of songs and get the crowd riled up. Minor technical issues cropped up on occasion, disrupting the flow of the set. However, drummer Josh Denslow helped keep the crowd engaged as everyone waited, even if by simply saying “Yeah, we don’t have any banter…” A fun group to watch and a very interesting sound overall, Borrisokane got several head bops through their set and left the audience wanting more. This was their last show for the year, but be on the lookout for these guys next year. - Short Sleeve Button Down


'Murdering Teeth' EP (May 2013)

'Disaster Face' EP (May 2012) -



Hailed by the Austin Chronicle as one of the Best New Local Acts of 2013, Borrisokane is a five-piece electro-pop band led by brother and sister team Rebecca and Derek Asuan-O'Brien. Rebecca's husband Josh Denslow, multi-instrumentalist Mars Wright, and bassist Ryker Brown round out this dynamic lineup.

Borrisokane's sound transitions easily from esoteric to cacophonous, which has landed them opening spots for acts as varied as Marnie Stern, Say Hi, This Will Destroy You, and The Octopus Project, as well being added to bills featuring Man Man and Tune-Yards. Their 2013 release "Murdering Teeth" was named Best EP by the Austin Music Blogger Awards and earned them the moniker "synth-punk gloom-wonders" by KUTX.

In 2014, Borrisokane released an ambitious 6EP box set titled The Versus Project that prompted Do512 to say "This is something we have never seen or even heard of before." Each disc is a "versus" disc featuring Borrisokane covering one of their favorite Texas bands, that band covering Borrisokane, and each band supplying a brand new song. The limited edition box was funded using Kickstarter with artwork by Shawn Magill and box design by Matt Steinke of Octant.

Also in 2014, The Good Music Club released stunning HD video of Borrisokane's live set on their popular YouTube channel which highlights Borrisokane's collaborative spirit and magnetic stage presence. They were added to the always amazing Utopiafest lineup along with Father John Misty, Warpaint, Cold War Kids, and Dan Deacon. And they will continue to bring their exciting live show to more and more cities while putting the finishing touches on their debut full-length album.

Band Members