World Racketeering Squad plays nerdwave rock and roll--imagine Devo jamming with the Stones on the Millennium Falcon with Doctor Who playing bass.

World Racketeering Squad Blog

Zombie Ukulele Apocalypse video!

Here we are playing "Zombie Ukulele Apocalypse":

WRS 6th Anniversary Show!


We've been racketeering for six years now!

WRS 6th Anniversary Infographic


We'll be celebrating at Rockin' Tomato on Saturday, August 6th at 9pm with our special guest Jessica Leigh from The Love Leighs!

New vinyl 7" AND new album out today!

Hi folks!

We've been working for what seems like FOREVER on our latest releases but they are both FINALLY HERE!

WRS album and 7" records

First vinyl 7" release--Holy Virgin On Fire Vs Drunken Evil Dead!

Holy Virgin On Fire Vs Drunken Evil Dead b/w Comet Tom 7" record sleeve

First up, our first ever VINYL release, on Sterntable Records, is available now and it looks and sounds beautiful!

"Holy Virgin On Fire Vs Drunken Evil Dead" is one of Isaac's oldest songs, and a great showcase of the Rickenbacker 12" guitar.

The B-side is "Comet Tom", our homage to David Bowie and a spiritual sequel to "Space Oddity".

You can download the music for free or order the 7" vinyl record today, or pick it up at a show!

Escape Velocity new album on CD!

Escape Velocity album cover

Next up is our brand new third album, Escape Velocity, which is out on CD!

We've got CDs in stock and we'll have them at shows as well if you'd like to buy one!

CD/7"/Stone Roses party Sat, Mar 30 at Rockin' Tomato

On Saturday, Mar 30 at Rockin' Tomato we will be playing TWO FULL SETS to celebrate the release of Holy Virgin and Escape Velocity

First up, we will be opening for ourselves, playing the debut album by The Stone Roses in its entirety. 

The Stone Roses are a legendary band from the late 1980s Manchester music scene who combined dance, funk and rock music with jangly 60's influences to make one of the most legendary debut albums ever.

Their self-titled debut is regularly listed at or near the top of "All-time great British album" lists for good reason.

The Stone Roses reunited in 2012 for a massive worldwide tour that is still ongoing. I (Isaac) and my wife made the pilgrimage to Manchester to see them play 2 of 3 shows at Manchester's Heaton Park in front of 75,000 people a night.

Here's one of the only live TV appearances the band ever made, playing "Waterfall":

The band has been a huge influence on the sound of World Racketeering Squad and we're celebrating their legacy by covering their first album in full at our show.

Last show for bassist Hunter

Following our Stone Roses set we'll be playing a full set of WRS songs which will be the last show for our bass player Hunter. Hunter's moving out of town and we will miss him dearly!

If you know any great bass players who can improvise and hold down an incredible groove, let us know!

Sat, Mar 30 at Rockin' Tomato

  • 9pm WRS as The Stone Roses
  • 10pm WRS as WRS

We hope to see you there! We'll have CDs, vinyl 7" records, T-shirts, stickers and buttons available!


Isaac, Reed, Aaron, and Hunter

Some good news and some bad news ...

WRS logo!

First up, the bad news. We're sad to report that our excellent bass player Hunter is leaving the state for greener pastures at the end of March. He's moving to a live-work farm in New Mexico to get back to nature.

It's hard to overstate how perfect a fit Hunter was with the Squad--he's a terrific bass player, intelligent and thoughtful musician, and he fits in so well with our weird sense of humor that we couldn't have asked for a better find.


Another thing that's great about Hunter is what leads to our good news--like us, Hunter LOVES The Stone Roses.

It's also hard to overstate how rare a find this is--Manchester band The Stone Roses are one of my personal favorites of all time, and a huge influence on my musical taste and my musical style as a player and songwriter.

They're not that well known in the US, although that may change a bit with news that the reuinited Roses are headlining the Coachella Festival this Spring.

So Hunter and I have bonded over the music of The Stone Roses, and we had been toying with the idea of playing some of their songs live. This news of Hunter's leaving spurred us into action.

Hunter will be going out with a bang at a huge WRS show at Rockin' Tomato on Saturday, March 30, at which we will play two sets: 

- a traditional World Racketeering Squad show, featuring all the awesome nerdwave our fans have come to expect from us; and

- a second set where we will play The Stone Roses debut album in its entirety.

This will be a one-time only event, and we're really excited about it!

We hate to see Hunter leave but we're thrilled to be able to learn and play these terrific songs and hopefully introduce them to a new audience here in Austin.


New WRS Live album: Lucky Lounge from Sun Jan 27!

Hi folks!

WRS records all of our live shows and we do our best to put them online, when the sound quality permits.

Here's the recording from our latest show, Live at Lucky Lounge from Sunday, Jan 27, 2013!

Stone Roses at Coachella!

The Stone Roses will be playing their first US shows since 1995 at Coachella this year:

This Sunday at Lucky Lounge, plus recording sessions!

Hey Racketeers,

Hope you're having a great January! We've been busy doing some recording and working on our new set for the Spring. We're retiring some songs, adding some new ones in, as well as some surprise covers, and just making sure we have a really fun show to play for y'all this year!

We've got a show THIS SUNDAY, Jan 27 at Lucky Lounge, with Thomas & Hall, Seven Circles, and Golf With Your Friends. It's a free show and it'll be the last time we do several of the songs in our current set. We'd love to see you there to drink a toast to old friends and say goodbye, and to welcome new ones into the family!


Sean Padilla (The Cocker Spaniels) namechecked on MTV

Martin Douglas writes about the challenges of being a black indie music fan

On MTV's blog, Martin Douglas writes about the tribulations of being a black indie music fan, and namechecks our good friend Sean Padilla and his excellent song on the subject:

If I had to pick a theme song for the early years of my show-going existence, it would be “The Only Black Guy at the Indie-Rock Show” by the Cocker Spaniels. A home-recorded tune that sounds like a teenage John Darnielle fronting Guided by Voices, it’s a charming-yet-ultimately kind of sad take on the alienation that exists when someone deviates from the cultural norm. Frontman Sean Padilla sings of being told the Jay-Z concert is down the street, name-drops Pavement, and is asked if he’s in a gang. Like the best moments of Chappelle’s Show or most anything Stephen Colbert has been involved with over the past decade, “The Only Black Guy at the Indie-Rock Show” is great because it’s shrewd social commentary disguised as comedy. (For a far more depressing equivalent, check out the Dears’ “Whites Only Party,” from their 2006 album Gang of Losers.)

I feel like Sean makes the effort to write songs about REAL THINGS and real emotions and people can recognize the truth and honesty there!

WRS in the Studio

Aaron's-eye view of Hunter Stanford and Isaac Priestley

We've been doing some recording this week, our first session with fabulous bass master Hunter Stanford (pictured above).

We're not recording for our new album yet, but doing some live-in-the-studio renditions of songs off our upcoming album Escape Velocity and some of our older tunes like "Electromagnetic Pulse".

Our style has changed a lot since Hunter joined and these songs sound amazing with Hunter on them, so we wanted to get a record of how they sound. We'll share some of the results with you soon!


Download WRS albums and EPs

World Racketeering Squad - In Squadrophonic Sound!

This is just a reminder, our entire catalog of World Racketeering Squad albums and EPs can be downloaded digitally from our website!

You can name your price for the music--anything we make off of selling music goes toward making more music in the future, so even $1 helps!

We've got:

We've also got some excellent live recordings that you can download now!

Lucky Lounge this Sunday, Jan 27 at 9pm

We'll be there!

WRS at Lucky Lounge on Sun, Jan 27 w/ Golf With Your Friends, Seven Circles and Thomas & Hall

Isaac, Reed, Hunter, Aaron

We'll be at Lucky Lounge next Sun, Jan 27!

 Hey gang,

How've you been?

WRS has been super busy the last couple of weeks getting ready for our recording session this weekend and preparing for our upcoming FREE show at Lucky Lounge on Sunday, Jan 27. We've all been working hard to bring you the absolute most awesome nerdwave rock and roll we can possibly make.

I've been thinking a lot lately about how when I was a kid, I was so much more cynical and snarky than I feel now. I'd be dismissive of somebody playing a clumsy cover at an open mic or of bands on the radio that didn't live up to whatever image of perfection I thought I had in my mind.

These days I just feel so blessed to be able to spend so much of my life around people who are so creative and fun and full of imagination--people like the other guys in WRS, my wife Darla, our friends like Sean Padilla or the guys and gals in Shortwave Party or The Bell Riots.

This city is just packed with people who spend a lot of time and effort going out of their way to share their creativity with others. Whether it's playing songs or painting, writing or drawing, taking photographs or making movies, it's just awesome that people are seeking out fulfillment in their own ways, rather than just staying at home watching the same TV shows everybody watches and talking about the same things everybody talks about.

I just watched a great video by Amy Poehler about negativity and this resonated with me a lot. Embrace the happiness you can get from seeking out your own path in life!

WRS in the Studio

We'll be going into the studio this weekend to do some recording with our old bandmate Bruce Chandler. Bruce has a terrific studio where plenty of great Austin musicians have recorded and we're fortunate to be one of them!

This is our bass player Hunter's first time recording with the Squad, so wish him luck!

Escape Velocity: The third album from WRS

Escape Velocity, the third album from World Racketeering Squad

Our third album, Escape Velocity, has been recorded and we are working on the production of the album on a 12" vinyl record! We've been dying to make some vinyl forever and we think it's going to sound incredible. Our mastering engineer (and former Squad member) J_Dub has put in extra hours on this one, going back and remastering it to make it really kick.

We'll have more information about how you can help with the production of the album soon, but you can listen to some tracks from the album now!

Lucky Lounge on Sun, Jan 27

We played Lucky Lounge in December and it was a really fun show, people were dancing and singing along and just having a great time. That night, our trusty bartender Todd asked us if we could bring the same groups back in January for another run, and we thought would be sweet! 

Lucky Lounge, Sun Jan 27: Golf With Your Friends / Seven Circles / World Racketeering Squad / Thomas & Hall

So our next show is coming up next Sunday, Jan 27 at Lucky Lounge. We're excited to be back at Lucky Lounge with our pals Golf With Your FriendsSeven Circles, and our new friends Thomas & Hall.

Golf With Your Friends have a super fun, punky energy--here's a live video:

"Andromeda", by Golf With Your Friends

And here's a teaser from Seven Circles, where you can see their absolutely AMAZING light rig changing and morphing in time with their swirling psychedelic music:

Teaser-"Peace Love Thanks"

Thomas & Hall have some tracks up too, showing off their operatic vocal power and classic rock guitar:

Thomas & Hall on Reverbnation

Here's the lineup for the show:

9pm Thomas & Hall
10pm WRS
11pm Seven Circles
12am Golf With Your Friends

RSVP for the show on Facebook!

We're going to be shooting some photos and some video of this show, so please come out and help everybody have an amazing time at the show!

See you there!

Isaac, Reed, Hunter, Aaron

Last night at Holy Mountain! Next up, Lucky Lounge

Free Week 2013: Last night at Holy Mountain

Last night we played our first show of 2013 at Holy Mountain, a great new venue that has sprung from the ashes of Beauty Bar next to Red 7.

Though there were more unfortunate lineup changes than one show deserves, in the end all the bands brought their A game and everybody had a great time.

Shortwave Party had to bow out due to a last-minute hospitalization, and Ghetto Ghouls and Boy + Kite ended up not being able to make it. At last count, the bill was World Racketeering Squad, The Bell Riots, and Rivers.

One of my favorite parts about a lot of our recent WRS shows is the number of people in the audience who have never heard us before. Either they’re just in the venue for a drink, or they heard about us from someone and stopped by, but a lot of new people have been discovering us lately and it’s really exciting!

In WRS, we’re always committed to delivering a kick-ass show no matter what happens, but this show went off without a hitch--everybody hit all their marks, the sound was terrific, and we were just looking at each other grinning and having a great time through the whole thing.

Soundman Steve Gambler at Holy Mountain is the real deal--the club has a top-of-the-line sound system and with Steve at the mixer all the bands sounded incredible.

The Bell Riots continue to improve every time I see them. Frontwoman Anna C has the swagger of Carrie Brownstein and bassist Sean Padilla keeps it solid with his tight, melodic basslines. And Westy on drums just rocks!

Rivers closed out the night with their Spaghetti-Western-tinged rock, telling tales of tragic loneliness and death with a huge bass sound and tight wah-wah SG guitar lines.

We have some recording to do this month, so our next show is at the end of January--Lucky Lounge on Sunday, January 27, with Thomas and Hall, Seven Circles and Golf With Your Friends.

We played with Seven Circles and Golf With Your Friends at Lucky Lounge a couple of weeks ago and we’re excited to get together with them again!

More great Free Week shows coming up!

If you are a human being who enjoys great live music, you might be interested in these upcoming shows:
Wed, Jan 3 - Borrisokane at Holy Mountain
Thurs, Jan 4 - Mirror Travel at Holy Mountain
Monday, Jan 7 - Holiday Mountain at Holy Mountain (no relation!)
Friday, Jan 11 - Zorch, The Boxing Lesson, Boyfrndz, Tiger Waves and Residual Kid at Holy Mountain
Yes, we'll be spending a lot of time at Holy Mountain this Free Week 2013!

Sunday, Jan 27 at Lucky Lounge

9pm Thomas and Hall
10pm World Racketeering Squad
11pm Seven Circles
12am Golf With Your Friends


Isaac, Reed, Hunter, Aaron