The Gospel Truth

(photography by Alison Eden Copeland l-r : David Petro, Patrick Travis, Mark Tonucci, Brandon Bennett Crowe) (hi-res version)

Over the past 4 years, you could make a case for the start and ongoing middle of what feels like a new golden age for Austin rock’n’roll. I could drop a bunch of names, some of whom you’d recognize, some of whom you wouldn’t. A few have recorded for this label. But that’s not really the point. The standard trajectory from initial rehearsal to first recordings to moment of global exposure is usually in the 6-24 month range. Not in this case.

As you’ll see below, it’s taken The Gospel Truth a little longer to become a fully realized thing. And that’s not to say they’re presently all about cool precision, either. Right now, they’re alternately brooding & explosive in manner that runs contrary to this city’s party vibe and have emerged as one of the town’s top live bands in the process. Not only is it hard to come up with a regional precedent for The Gospel Truth, it’s almost as tough to ID an album as out of time as ‘A Lonely Man Does Foolish Things’. The Flesh Eaters’ ‘A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die’ and the Toiling Midgets’ ‘Sea Of Unrest’ come to mind, but that pair stood out wildly in ’81 and ’82, too. The tie that binds all 3 full-lengths is a purposeful, unusually deft ensemble fronted by a singer who comes out of his shell in the boldest way when you put a microphone in his hand (more on him later)

In early 2007, drummer Patrick Travis and bassist Jeremy Steen began work on a new band. Travis would later become a fixture of year-end critics polls (well, a couple) and basic cable cameos (OK, one) as a member of Austin’s Golden Boys ; Steen would soon lend his services to the punk powerhouse trio Flesh Lighs, and later still to the recordings and stage show of John Wesley Coleman III, and even later to the highly touted Nazi Gold.

Back in ’07 however, Steen coaxed his roommate, a young Connecticut transplant named Mark Tonucci to join the newly christened The Gospel Truth as vocalist and saxophonist.
After some false starts, true stops and a pair of since departed guitarists, The Gospel Truth made their recorded debut with one side of a split 12″ EP with Austin’s Cause For Applause (Bicentennial Baby, 2010). And shortly after that, the group disbanded. Tonucci went to Italy. Travis and Steen became further occupied with The Golden Boys and Flesh Lights respectively.

After a year of head-clearing, Mark and Pat convened at the Austin County Flea Market (a cobweb-shaking locale if there ever was one) and formulated plans for The Gospel Truth’s reentry. Travis relinquished the drums for the guitar ; Tonucci added keyboards to his arsenal, and drummer Brandon Bennett Crowe (formerly of When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth) came into the fold.
During the summer of 2012, a full-length LP was commissioned by the 12XU label and was recorded during the subsequent fall and winter at Austin’s BBQ Shack (not, we should stress an actual BBQ shack, but a proper recording facility with expensive gear and knobs and that sort of thing).

In late Spring of 2013, Jeremy Steen’s existing commitments to Flesh Lights and Nazi Gold were addressed with the addition of interim bassist David Petro (Debt, Neighbor, The Gory Details, and formerly half of a rhythm section alongside Travis in the recently retired SsserpentssS).

The Gospel Truth’s first U.S. tour starts right after ‘A Lonely Man Does Foolish Things’ hits stores this June.

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@GospelTruth_TX – Twitter