When: Sat., Nov. 10, 9 p.m. 2012
Michigan trio Cheap Girls make smooth, melodic pop rock that flirts with punk aggression, and they do it as reliably as Ford makes cars. They began climbing the many rungs of the DIY touring circuit in 2007, fine-tuning their sound and making friends with Florida arena punks Against Me! and Buffalo band Lemuria. Against Me! front woman Laura Jane Grace (formerly Tom Gabel) produced Cheap Girls' recent Giant Orange (Rise), giving the group's easygoing tunes a clean, vivid, almost polished sound that was missing on the self-recorded stuff they'd done earlier—and she did it without smoothing out their bursts of brashness. Guitarist Adam Aymor does a lot of the heavy lifting on the album, jump-starting songs such as "Pacer" and "Mercy Go Round" with buzz-saw riffs and infusing its slacker melodies with rugged but razor-sharp hooks reminiscent of great early-90s American alt-rock—I keep thinking of Bob Mould. —Leor Galil The Front Bottoms headline; Cheap Girls and the Please & Thank Yous open.
Price: $12, $10 in advance