The Austinites in Megafauna should not to be confused with Wisconsin psychedelics in Megafaun, because if fans to the latter ended up at a show of the former, they would come away baffled. Megafauna plays a riff-heavy, shred-friendly rock/punk/metal blend that was incredibly impressive. The power trio cranked out incredibly technical work that still retained melodic and rhythmic strength; this is rare for the genre, and made my ears perk up almost immediately.
The female guitarist/vocalist's instrumental chops were counterpointed excellently by the bassist's frantic bass runs, and the drums held it all together with a furious pound. The vocals were the least integrated part of the sound, used sparingly; I was mesmerized by their incredible instrumental interactions, and therefore didn't bother too much with the vocals. This seems also to be the band's strategy. I don't normally listen to this style of music, because it becomes monotonous quickly to me, but Megafauna kept the set varied and interesting for the duration. I highly, highly recommend them to fans of loud, heavy rock.
Vox and the Hound was the last band on my SXSW schedule for the week, and they sent me out on a high note. The band plays a mix of indie-rock, country and punk that makes for a varied set. What doesn't vary is the high quality of the tunes, which are excellently arranged to take advantage of the listener's uncertainty of what Vox will do next.
The lead vocalist snarled and howled with fervor, and the band responded in a passionate-yet-precise way that enabled their set to be more than punk singalongs and country drink-alongs. They're high on my list of bands to watch, as their songwriting and arranging is among the best I've heard of its style. Fans of Old 97's and Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit will find much to love in Vox and the Hounds.