Zlam Dunk
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Zlam Dunk

San Marcos, Texas, United States | SELF

San Marcos, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Rock Punk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Zlam Dunk"

I have been pretty into Zlam Dunk since 2009’s grand inception (read: January) when they graced our stage at the Mohawk Free Week show. Their brand of the Rapture meets This Moment in Black History dancepunk provided possibly one of the rowdiest (read: sweatiest) performances that the site has ever been a part of (which, is certainly saying something) and for that, they have earned quite the soft spot in my heart. San Marcos bands go hard. These young men have an explosive energy on stage complete with multiple percussion players, chants and charisma. Their new EP We Are All Dead does a great job of capturing it all. The bromantic anthems are full of instant singability and in case you just so happen to hate new songs, they have you covered- the band starts their song Top Gun off with an acapella chorus of You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling. No telling what sort of surprises the group has in store for their special night. One fact is for sure: the band will be giving away FREE CDs to the first 74 people to get past the Stubb’s door guy. I know it is true because I read it on the internet. Driver F and Bright Light Social Hour open up while Car Stereo (Wars) finishes off the night with a set that will most likely include the vocals from that new Yung Wun, David Banner, DMX & Lil’ Flip with something silly underneath it. - Party Ends

"Zlam Dunk SXSW"

At The Drive-In meets Daft Punk? That’s a hefty claim. Zlam Dunk sound engineer Jason Buntz came up with this clever comparison, and upon several listens, the similarities between the groups do become apparent. Their electronic punk rock sound could be a refreshing addition to this year’s alternative music offerings at SXSW. The San Marcos band wants you to dance like there’s no tomorrow at their official SXSW showcase Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m. at B.D. Riley’s. The guys will also play several other day parties and shows, so if you don’t get your fill of dance-punk the first time, check out our side parties database, or list of side parties to find out where else you can see them rock out. Ross Bennett and Daniel Vega answered our SXSW questions via e-mail. - Austin American Statesman

"SXSX preview from SPINNER"

Zlam Dunk! It's a name that demands attention, both with the force of the action implied and it's misspelled goofiness. It's what you get when you take a group of college kids from central Texas, mix with big guitars, electro-pop keys and screaming vocals, small-town kids looking to start a big-city fire. This ebullient band of young twenty-something guys kicked out an EP, 'We Are All Dead,' in 2009 and started 2010 on the road, touring any place without a Texas zip code. Before kicking off their Zlam Dunk SXSW experience, guitar player Brett Thorne took a quick minute to talk about the letters "S" and "Z," influences he hates and Josh Brolin.

How did you form the band?

Well, we all go to Texas State in San Marcos, which is about thirty miles south of Austin and we had all been friends. I had met a few of the guys through a church group, a couple of them I met through friends of friends. Me and Taylor [Hughes], the bass player, we had talked about starting a band, like a dance-y band and then one day we all decided to take our instruments down to our friend's dorm room and set up. At the time, there were eight of us in the room and we decided, "OK, everyone who's in the room right now is in the band," and so it started from there.

What are your influences?

Like I said, there were eight people in the room when we first started and we've trimmed it down to five now, but with that many people, it's going to be very diverse. I guess one band we can all agree on is awesome is Me Without You, I'm actually listening to right now. Taylor loves hip-hop and remixes, [keys player] Ross [Bennet], I would say Portugal, the Man is one of his favorite bands. [Drummer] Daniel [Vega], he loves Manchester Orchestra. Charlie [Day], he's really into hardcore, which definitely influenced the sound a lot, considering he's the vocalist.

How would you describe your sound?

That first time we all jammed together, we were all trying to figure out what we were doing, why it all sounded so strange and we kind of ended up with dance punk, which is the description we give people. It's aggressive music that I think people can dance to, you can cut a rug to it and hopefully you are yelling along with us at the shows. It's kind of chaotic, we've had a lot of people tell us that we sound like different things; we heard everything from Lostprophets, which I think is crap, to U2 to the Rapture. The U2 comparison came because I use a lot of delay in my guitar riffs. Lostprophets, I don't know, I don't know if that person was trying to piss us off or what, but I don't know where that came from.

How did you come up with your name?

That also hearkens back to that first epic jam session in the dorm room. We were saying, "It's dance-y, it sounds like punk," and as I remember it, our drummer Daniel stood up behind his kit and said, "It sounds like dance punk, it's dunk! We should be "Dunk"!" And then somebody else was like, "We should be "Slam Dunk"!" But then Daniel was like, "No, the letter "S gets way too much attention, we should be "Zlam Dunk"!" And the rest is history, as they say.

Your MySpace page says you sound like Josh Brolin, your blog is called Josh Brolin's Mouth -- what's with Josh Brolin?

What is with Josh Brolin, why is he so awesome? He is a great actor. You know that movie 'Thrashin''? He is in that movie and he plays a thrashing skateboarder and we are very into that movie.

Do you have any festival survival tips?

Check the web. Google "free SXSW shows," you can always find some really great bands without having to break the bank because there are always great parties going on. And if you're lucky, you'll show up at a show where there is free food and, for the older kids, some free cocktails.

What's your biggest vice?

Probably our song called 'Vice.' But if you want a literal vice, I'm kind of addicted to 'Lost' right now, it kind of takes up a lot [of time]. I don't know what it is, it's something about Jack, he's a cutie pie. I definitely watch too much 'Lost' and it affects my work.

You put out an EP in 2009. What are your plans for future records?

Full lengths. I'm not sure, I guess we're kind of waiting to see in a couple weeks how South By goes, see if anybody wants to throw a whole lot of money at us, we'll go from there. As far as future recordings, we just got back today from being mastered, three new songs which we'll be handing out to press people at SXSW, like a sampler teaser, and we'll definitely use those songs.

What are your best tour memories?

We were in Chicago for New Year's, that was pretty wild. That was halfway awesome and halfway not the best thing that has ever happened to me. New York, I think would be my favorite because the sandwiches there and the cheesecake were so good. I had this sandwich called the Woody Allen at Carnegie Deli. Oh, my goodness, I kid you not, it was seven inches tall, about half-an-inch on the bottom and half-an-inch on top was bread and everything in the center was just meat, and it was amazing.

Beatles or Rolling Stones?

I don't know how everyone else in the band would answer, Daniel and I would definitely say Beatles, I think Charlie would say kill them all, but, yeah, definitely the Beatles. They're the second best band to ever come out of the UK, behind Oasis. Just kidding.

"Album Review"

Alright, it’s basically the end of the year. We’re almost halfway through December, and if this month was anything like every other year, then we should have hit a massive decline in the output of kick ass new music, right? At least, that’s what I came to expect. I mean, how could I possibly expect for a band to come out of nowhere and completely win me over with, what I consider, one of the most memorable releases of 2010? You know the kind of album I’m talking about. That one that just makes you go “Fuck yeah!” the second you hear it for the first time, and then continue to do so with each repetition for a countless amount of times. Zlam Dunk seems to have effortlessly managed to bring out this characteristic from me, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic to have experienced that feeling just one last time before we kick out the new year.

Noble Ancestry is probably the best display of dance-infusing, punk-edged math rock I’ve ever encountered (probably because I can’t think of any other band that has brought these genres together; but that’s neither here, nor there). There is an unmistakable amount of high-energy given off throughout the albums entirety, and I credit this to the fact that every member of Zlam Dunk collaborates and works together, influencing each track in their own unique ways. Both “Midnight Runner” and “Ghost Woman” (the first two tracks following the introduction with “Tomorrow in Twenty Million years”) exhibits this high-energy mentality. Brett rocks the guitar with his punk-edged/math rock capabilities, going hand-in-hand with both Taylor and Charlie’s shouting vocals and Daniel’s drumming. Over which you the ever-resonating synth compositions, provided by Ross Bennett; adding that dancey quality that, for me, really sealed them as being one of the most addicting bands this year.

Now, I’ve read on comment boards that a lot of people are comparing them to the likes of Dr. Manhattan (R.I.P.), a band that they have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with on a few occasions. While there may not be a lot of stylistic similarities between the two, I do feel the comparison is justified in that they both share that same ‘fun’ quality, making you want to sing along and participate in each of their songs. A prime example would be “Not Stoked (Prime Time Killings)”, featuring the band at their most catchy with quirky lyrics, fast-paced rock, and gang vocals. The possibilities of how well a song like this could translate live is all-too exciting. Crowd participation is an important element at concerts, and it’s an impressive thing to be able to write songs that can make you do so, even though you’re really just sitting in your room with your headphones on.

The second half of the album, however, proves that since the release of their debut EP, We Are All Dead, Zlam Dunk has certainly grown a lot in such a short amount of time. Starting with “Castle Beyond the Goblin City”, while maintaining all of the same characteristics as the previous track, Zlam Dunk displays a much more focused and mature quality to their writing and delivery. This then carries on to the following two tracks, “21st & Kedzie” and “Untitled”, where they then further it with a passionate output that’s both emotionally and humbly captivating. And finally, there’s “Vices”, a song that appeared on We Are All Dead and has been polished up and perfected. Bringing their most intense amount of Punk influence , with anthemic vocal delivery and lyrics, and repetitive synth and guitar riffs that never get old, the album ends at a plateau that, while you may be like me and wish there was five more songs, is completely satisfying.

It was seriously torture trying to decide whether or not to include Noble Ancestry in my Top Ten Albums list (which will be posted soon, if you’re interested). So while it didn’t make it, if I could come up with a list of my favorite newly-found bands, Zlam Dunk would no joke be at the number one spot. This disc effortlessly combines punk energy and an all-around quirky amount of silliness. Being able to strike me in this way is rare, and I didn’t expect to ever find again at the announcement the Dr. Manhattan has disbanded. But I’ve had this album for a few weeks now and I still find myself throwing it on nearly every day and am just as taken aback each time. I think that should count for something, right? - The Record Rebellion

"Alternative Press AP&R"

"While the subject matter of their songs may be off-the-wall, their music is just as original.
At times it's synth-heavy and dance-oriented and at others rides epic guitar waves reminiscent
of everything from mewithoutYou to U2." - AlternativePress-AP&R - Alternative Press AP&R

"Zlam Dunk show preview"

Zlam Dunk has taken Austin by storm, winning the Red Eyed Fly’s Battle of the Bands back in September. The band is from San Marcos, formed by a group of friends who all go to Texas State. Zlam Dunk literally packs the stage with seven members, including two drummers and a mishmash of other exciting elements. They play “dunk”, the name Zlam Dunk came up with to describe their mashup of dance and punk. - Austin Sound Check

"Zlam Dunk Score Big in NYC"

I decided to swing 'round to the LES' Mercury Lounge to take in my first show of the new year. What better way to ward off the cold than by rockin' out? I went in blind. What's that you ask? Quirky to English translation ... I went to check out bands I was completely unfamiliar with. That's the great thing about clubs, you can randomly drop in and hear music. Sometimes it's good, sometimes not so much.

Well, I was lucky last night. There were five bands on the bill and I checked out three of them. I was tickled pink that I enjoyed all three. The first band to take the stage was Zlam Dunk. They're from Texas. Some of them wore shorts ... it was 30F though it felt considerably colder. But, they were talented so, I'll forgive their fashion choices.

Anyway, I arrived early because I arrive everywhere one year earlier than all start times. I was loitering and being nerdy by the merchandise area, I mean causally hanging out looking cool, yeah let's go with that. That's where I met Zlam Dunk drummer Daniel Vega and keyboardist Ross Bennett. I also added their 5-song EP, We Are All Dead, to my ever growing music collection while I was socializing.

I was curious to hear what the band sounded like. I'd asked Vega if they were good and he said he thought they were. Yeah, I know, silly question to ask. It's not like he was going to say they sucked!

The band took to the stage to play their first NYC show and put on a fun set that was dripping with energy. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Zlam Dunk as I was, they play punk with moments of 80's dance rock mixed in. It was a good set and I can honestly say I enjoyed it.

If you missed Zlam Dunk last night, you still have a chance to catch them New Yorkers. They're going to be at Pianos on Monday, January 11. Drop by and show the Texas boys some NY love. - Quirky NYC


Zlam Dunk are one of my favorite bands. I've followed them avidly since their early days. It still baffles me that they aren't bigger than they are or kicking everyone's ass on Warped Tour. Only youth, talent and a shit ton of energy drinks can birth such a high energy group of dance punks like these dudes.

Currently Zlam Dunk is in the running for The Recording Conservatory of Austin's 5th Annual Unsigned Artist Competition. The winner gets 100 free studio hours, a bunch of recording gear from Guitar Center, and a show at Stubb's in front of some industry professionals.

Voting ends on May 19. While there are a few other good bands amongst a bunch of not so good ones, Zlam Dunk is the clear choice in terms of being ready, worthy and marketable for the next level. I haven't really endorsed any bands in contests like this before, but since I work for myself I can do and say whatever I want. I'm Ian Morales and I proudly endorse Zlam Dunk. Listen below and vote here. - Ian's Music Blog

"Red River Noise Review"

The impulsively-birthed-San-Marcos-native band, Zlam Dunk, seems to be punching the Austin scene with brilliant guitar riffs, sweet percussion, and vocal-chord bleeding punk rock. Released on December 3rd 2010, their debut album, Noble Ancestry, brings exciting, danceable music that thrives in an explosion of energy.

Zlam Dunk opens their album with “Tomorrow in Twenty Million Years”, an upbeat and quick tempo-ed song; the perfect introduction to an entertaining archive of post punk rock. As the album proceeds, Zlam Dunk’s produces aggressive punk-rock anthems about rebellion and love. The wild guitar, pulsating beat, and raw vocals in “Midnight Runners” enhances the infuriating desperation experienced in relationships that makes you want to shout and punch everyone in the mouth. While, “Castle Beyond the Goblin City” is just as aggressive, it is a call to youth for freedom, with a surprising desire to picket for rights, scream, and dance in the midst of rebellion.

Despite the evident talent of the musicians, Noble Ancestry showcases certain songs, such as “Ghost Woman” and “Untitled”, which show a lack of diversity or creativity from within the genre. Though, reflecting the on-going style of aggressive, danceable punk rock, the songs are indecipherable and only make for great background music for desperate study sessions.

Fortunately, the album saves itself with the tracks “21st & Kedzie” and “Vice”, which embody the epitome of post-hardcore, punk rock, projecting a more real sense of today’s brilliant, rocker group of youngsters that live in desperation for warmth, thirst for connection, and exist in the reality of being young, lonely, frustrated, yet pathetically in love with life. Unfortunately, the “21st & Kedzie” is almost flawless, except the beginnings sounds like every other punk rock song. However, the lyrics snag interest, and the track snowballs into a masterpiece.

Despite the album having a few major setbacks with indecipherable tracks, Zlam Dunk is definitely leaving a mark in the Austin music scene with Noble Ancestry, and establishing their signature style of danceable, aggressive, hardcore punk rock. - Red River Noise

"Zlam Dunk"

You like to dance! You like to mosh! Why don't you do both at once? Zlam Dunk combines synthy dance music with punk riffs to create their own unique, but still fun sound. After releasing their debut EP We Are All Dead for free, Zlam Dunk has just recently released the mini album Noble Ancestry, where the band does what they are best at, playing extremely upbeat tunes. "Midnight Runner" has some great synth lines along with some surprisingly solid harmonized shouts. "Ghostwoman" has some of the best riffs on the album, changing throughout the entire song. And who said that you can't party in a mosh pit? Listen to Zlam Dunk on Bandcamp here. - Muzic Discovery

"SXSW Locals Preview: Zlam Dunk"

I'll admit when I first started hearing about this band,Zlam Dunk. First there's the issue of their name, as a gay, indie-rock lovin' music blogger I do not find the sports reference appealing. Then, I looked up their bio info and it said they were from San Marcos. While I have no specific issues with San Marcos it just made me wish they had just said they were from Austin. In fact when I finally met members of Zlam Dunk in real life I specifically mentioned that fact and I believe they have amended their bio information to say they are from San Marcos/Austin, which is a step in the right direction. It wasn't until I saw the band's high-energy performance opening up for Fang Island at Emo's in the spring that I finally drank the Zlam Dunk Kool-Aid. They meld genres, they jump around, they engage the audience and basically create an atmosphere where a fun-time is had by all. No matter what setting you see them perform in, you will feel like you are at a really fun, rowdy house-party. I find this a totally appealing atmosphere for a band to create and I simply enjoy any band who can create atmosphere through their performance. It is for all of these, relatively vague, reasons that I implore you out-of-towners to see AUSTIN's Zlam Dunk during SXSW. - Austin Bloggy Limits

"Zlam Dunk promising Punk band in Austin"

Zlam Dunk is a local Austin post-punk whatever-ya-wanna-call-it band, that has a pop and indie rock feel to it. This pop side due most to their heavy synth lines and guitars, while they no doubt can transition into punk aggression Their songs are a relatively heavy, due greatly to the dual-vocal (possibly more?) yelling / screaming vocals and pounding rhythms. The leads are catchy as hell, on both guitar and keys. The band has been headlining the Red River district, arriving during a recent wave of melodic hardcore bands, but Zlam Dunk has an alt rock/new wave essence to likes of The Killers maybe, highlighted in tracks like “21st & Kedzie” and “Vice” (I’m up late… maybe completely off, oh well). Their vocalist’s voice isn’t too harsh or inaudible (not that I don’t dig such a thing), so in my feeble opinion they could reach a large audience considering their hardcore punk roots.

They could rise to national popularity along the recent hardcore wave with bands like Touché Amoré, La Dispute, Defeater, Pianos Become The Teeth, and Native. I feel they have the largest market potential of the bunch and could reach the large audience as they are more indie rock, than hardcore or punk (sorry fellas, chicks dig a danceable tune).

I suggest you check each of them out, including Austin locals Zlam Dunk (click the damn bands’ names!). They are all very talented artists.

Here’s a live video of the Austin locals putting on a rowdy, passionate, high-energy performance of “Vice”: - Never-mind The Teeth

"Zlam Dunk on Daytrotter"

When local Austin bands appear on national website Daytrotter, we try to talk about them. Well our local friends Zlam Dunk just had their session posted today and we wanted to share the info with you kids. The guys recorded 4 songs for the live in-studio, including 3 songs from their recent album Noble Ancestry and one from an as of yet released album. Below you can find that unreleased song “Patrick” for you downloading pleasure. - Austin Music Hall

"Zlam Review"

Punk's charm is in it's sincere thrashing and bellowing vox, which Zlam's got in spades. Give this cut a minute or so; see if you're not tempted to snatch up your air guitar and windmill right along - Austin Independent music Noise

"Zlam Dunk CD Release At Emo's"

These college kids certainly know how to entertain, pulling their sound from a variety of influences and the differing musical taste of each band member. Their aggressive punk sound is nostalgic to appeal to age old punk fans but with that extra dance fusion, can make anyone and everyone cut a rug at their shows. The vocals are key to defining Zlam Dunk’s musical style, as lead singer Charlie Day pulls his influence from hardcore. Those pipes plus righteous, heavy guitar lines, electro-pop keyboard, and firey percussion make up an unexpected, but brilliant, formula for the ultimate dance-punk band. - DO512

"Zlam Dunk Recap"

Austin, TX's favorite post-hardcore quintet Zlam Dunk brought the house down with their superhuman-like energy. After conquering the Exploding In Sound showcase this past March at SXSW, the band once again raised the bar and our expectations with their dance floor ready blend of heavy punk fury, upbeat rhythms, swirling guitars and kinetic synths that could shift the Richter scale. The band shouted out anthemic tracks from Noble Ancestry including "Not Stoked," "Ghostwoman," and "Midnight Runners" (featured on Holy Moly!) as well as two brand new tracks "British Teeth" and what I think was called "Monterrey". Lead vocalist Charlie Day tore up the stage and the floor as he busted out his signature dance moves to the audience's delight. Erupting like an impromptu party, Zlam Dunk closed the set with the epic "Vice," and its safe to say we were all "moving to a different beat". The amount of adrenaline running through a Zlam Dunk set is infectious, leaving me buzzing for hours after the final note. You can still catch the band on tour - Exploding In Sound

"Zlam Dunk Tour"

it’s time for everyone to start getting stoked because Zlam Dunk is coming to the East Coast, including PA, NY, and NJ..... - The Record Rebellion

"Zlam Dunk @ Bruar Falls NYC"

picture on link - macgregor


Q: San Marcos, TX
NOW PLAYING: We Are All Dead EP (myspace.com/zlamband)
THE STORY SO FAR: Nobody's going to mistake Texas five-piece Zlam Dunk for, say, Bob Dylan. "With songs about Patrick Swayze, Tog Gun, zombies, robots, dead presidents and rats from the Black Plague, our goal is to make sure everyone has a good time," says synth-op/vocalist Ross Bennett. Zlam Dunk have played alongside Drop Dead, Gorgeous and Eyes Set To Kill, and they plan to leave the Longhorn state early in 2010 for their first Midwest tour.
WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW 'EM: While the subject matter of their songs may be off-the-wall, their music is just as original. At times it's synth-heavy and dance-oriented and at others rides epic guitar waves reminiscent of everything from mewithoutYou to U2. "Our style of dance-punk mixed with basketball and gratuitous use of the letter 'Z' make us perfect for anyone who wants to dance themselves into oblivion," says Bennet. "And we break more drumsticks than most bands."
- Alternative Press

"Driver F & Zlam Dunk this Friday night in Austin"

Zlam Dunk is the hottest young band on the scene since Driver F. Having only been together since last spring, they too continue to improve their already exciting live show. Since they don’t fit a specific genre, I call Zlam Dunk’s music “dance punk”. It is certainly punk enough to mosh to, but hip enough to make you dance. There are lots of drums, keys, guitars, a tambourine and even the quintessential cowbell….because we all need more cowbell. Let me warn you though, their music and live show never slow down. You know when some bands play a couple of fast tracks and slow it down for a song or two? Not the Zlam Dunk guys. This band needs ritalin, but even that probably wouldn’t work. - Double Stereo

"Zlam Dunk - "Patrick (Prince Anfernee Remix)""

See, the guys in Zlam Dunk are more geek than jock. From the name to the nicknames to the silly song subjects, they're just having fun but they're not making fun (and they're not being ironic). Zlam is hard to define, but I would say this band is always sincere yet rarely serious.

When you listen to their song "Patrick" you wouldn't even know it's about Swayze's 1990 romantic drama Ghost. In fact, it sounds like a dark yet uplifting mashup of post-punk and electronica influences. For the song's first minute, we get a pulsating synth and thick bass strums, followed by hopeful lyrics introducing the subject matter: I'm here, but you can't see. And I swear, just believe me. Everything will be alright. - 'Nites

"Zlam Dunk"

San Marcos six-piece dance-punk ensemble Zlam Dunk picks up where the late Clap!Clap! left off, crafting the kind of ebullient, double-drummer-driven bangers that come from having nightclub dreams in a sports-bar town. The group’s angular, twitchy attack and boundless energy have made it a real crowd-pleaser, hence it taking home Red Eyed Fly’s Battle Of The Bands crown in 2008. In 2009, it celebrated the release of its We Are All Dead EP—which is kind of a downer title for such a joyful band. - The Onion -A.V. Austin


We Are All Dead EP - 2009
Noble Ancestry LP - 2010
Balcones EP - April 2012



Hailing from Austin, Texas, ZLAM DUNK is not your run of the mill band from the indie rock mecca. They combine punchy guitar jabs, garage rock crudeness and punk energy that seems like it’s ingested about 5 packs of Pixie Sticks. Channeling the rhythmic thrust of At the Drive In with the broodiness of Fugazi and a little bit of menacing pep ala Husker Du, ZLAM DUNK is a bubbling stew of rock fury which sheds and slays simultaneously.

Drawing lyrical inspiration from a multitude of areas be it 80’s movies and all things “gnarly and shred tastic”, ZLAM DUNK has shared the stage with the likes of Fang Island, Foxy Shazam, Touche Amore, Har Mar Superstar, Good Old War, Holy Fuck and even opened up for Paul Wall on their third show ever! ZLAM DUNK is not meant to be heard but to be felt as well. A surefire band capturing all that is rowdy, energetic and uncontrollable in music, brace yourself for what is the punk rock/audible equivalent of garage rock and post hardcore’s child having just downed a case of Four Loko. - Solid PR