A.R.E. Weapons | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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A.R.E. Weapons

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A.R.E. Weapons have been alternately hyped as saviors of New York rock (alongside the Strokes) and key players in the electroclash "movement" (they played DJ Larry Tee's festival last fall). But two of the three members have been making sweaty lo-fi war-obsessed music since at least 1996: frontman Brain McPeck and bassist Matt McAuley played together in Ayler's Angels (later called Army of Ghosts), a sloppy trio known for yelling beat-style poetry about Vietnam over free-jazz sax blurts and machine-gun sound effects. A couple years ago they traded the saxophonist for a synth player and declared their admiration for the 70s electronic-punk duo Suicide. Three degrees of separation later (McAuley dates Chloe Sevigny; her ex, Jarvis Cocker of Pulp, reportedly turned Rough Trade honcho Geoff Travis on to the band), Rough Trade had released the three-song Street Gang EP. For guys who've cultivated such a scruffy image, they sure made a tidy record, meticulously layering cheesy beats, melancholy synth orchestrations, and poppy keyboards with dirty blasts of noise, spoken word, and samples from Apocalypse Now. Live in New York last year, though, they were stumbling scuzzbuckets, drooling into their full-grown beards and barely remembering their songs--and it was great. Green Velvet (see Post No Bills) headlines. Saturday, August 24, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.

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