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Thu 8/30: Deep Heat at Empty Bottle
For the past few years Kevin Warwick has been obsessed with weirdo punk from Australia, and unsigned Melbourne quartet Deep Heat are the latest band to catch his ear. They have "thick and jangly punk guitar similar to the Wipers and Hot Snakes," he says, "and some of the angsty ardor of mid- to late-90s emocore." Deep Heat's self-released debut Low Lights "benefits from traded-off lead vocals, almost like Black Lips, and from whatever magic juice has been dumped in the drinking water down under." Canadian Rifle headlines.
Fri 8/31: Altar of Plagues at Ultra Lounge
This moody black-metal trio hails from Cork County, Ireland, and Monica Kendrick says their two albums have put them near the top of her bands-to-watch list. Those records "have a spacious, lonesome quality and a kind of forlorn stoicism that underlies their angry environmental themes—the land don't give a shit about your human angst, and neither do these guys," she writes. "That's not to say there's no human feeling here—I pick up quite a bit of longing and melancholy, particularly on Mammal, where Irish keening (an ancient funeral custom) gives an eerie aura to 'When the Sun Drowns in the Ocean.'" The Atlas Moth headlines.
Fri 8/31: Pugs Atomz at Reggie's Rock Club
Leor Galil reminds us that despite the rash of high-profile signings of young Chicago rappers, plenty of scene veterans are still grinding in relative obscurity. Few have been in the game longer that Pugs Atomz, who recently dropped a new mixtape. "Atomz put it together while traveling around the globe, and it's the kind of old-school mixtape that's more a collection of interesting ideas than a polished full-length. The best bits on Euro P are the tracks shot through with funky, sometimes woozy grooves, with Atomz delivering playful rhymes that flow like molasses." Pacewon & Mr. Green headline.
Sat 9/1: Gatekeeper at Lincoln Hall
Formerly Chicagoan duo Gatekeeper were among the first contemporary groups to make explicit the influence that the soundtracks of horror flicks by the likes of Dario Argento and John Carpenter have exerted on a generation of young electronic musicians. Writes Miles Raymer, "Their new album, Exo, sounds like the future of music as imagined by Mondo 2000-reading cyberpunks in 1993—acid house-inspired 303 squeals, driving industrial rhythms, and a vaguely tribal vibe that makes me think of dreadlocked Burning Man types doing fire dances (but not in a bad way)." Teengirl Fantasy headlines.