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Make Believe, The Narrator



The members of the local quartet THE NARRATOR--vocalists-guitarists Sam Axelrod and Jesse Woghin, bassist James Barron, and drummer Nate Heneghan--clearly draw inspiration from Chicago's post-rock and emo scenes, but they skillfully avoid the wankiness and the melodrama that can make those subgenres so tiresome. A 2003 single and an explosive 2004 EP, Youth City Fire, established the band as one of the strongest on the roster of Flameshovel Records (which Woghin co-owns); the debut full-length, Such Triumph, should only cement that rep. Songs like "Pregnant Boys" and "Wolves in the Walls" are cerebral but sound like the band came up with them intuitively and easily. Though they occasionally crib from Pavement, Trail of Dead, and Sonic Youth, bitter, stinging standout tracks like "Now Is the Time for All Good Men" and "This Party's Over" brim with their own nervy melodies and wounded moods. This show is a release party for Such Triumph. --Bob Mehr

On Shock of Being (Flameshovel), the forthcoming debut album by MAKE BELIEVE, Tim Kinsella's lyrics seem to reflect on dislocation in the Bush era--"Do you feel safe at home?" is the first line on the opening track, "Amscaredica"--while bassist Bobby Burg and drummer Nate Kinsella hammer out herky-jerky rhythms. Guitarist Sam Zurick is relatively muted amid all that racket, but he's the band's secret weapon, spitting out weird chords, gnarled arpeggios, and fast-moving single-note runs that sound alternately jagged and liquid. The songs come together in fits and starts, but though they're chaotic there's an ineffable logic to their sprawl. Front man Kinsella, late of Joan of Arc, Friend/Enemy, Owls, and Cap'n Jazz, has insisted that this is the sort of band he's always wanted to play in, and given that Make Believe has played 125 shows over the past year there's no reason to doubt him. Joan of Arc seemed to hold itself together by sheer force of will; this quartet sounds like it could survive a tornado. --Peter Margasak

Make Believe headlines, the Narrator plays second, and Voltage opens. Mon 7/4, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499. Free

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