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

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A.R.E. Weapons

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These testosterone-inflated fleshbags inspire the same sort of perverse adoration as skater boys who'll never care as much about a warm body as they do about their precious boards. They front like they don't give a flying fuck, and the moral of most of their songs is that they have no morals: stay out of other people's business, do what you gotta do, live life free of fear and hassle. With their debut EP, Street Gang, they drew a lot of flak for openly ripping off Suicide, but the sound of their first full-length, A.R.E. Weapons (Rough Trade), is their own invention: canned MIDI melodies clopping over dramatic orchestral metal and heavy-lidded hip-hop and dancehall beats. All the songs gimp along at the dreamy pace of a stoner's head bobbing, except "Changes," whose sweating-bullets attack is completely ruined by blaring big-city brass. The best cut might be "Hey World," a heavy-handed fist pumper complete with a chorus of chanting children that seems to be making fun of heavy-handed fist pumpers complete with choruses of chanting children. There's a thick coat of stupid on everything here--but who in his right mind doesn't secretly want to run through the streets dumb and free? Friday, May 30, 10 PM, Vision, 640 N. Dearborn; 312-266-2114.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Conrad Ventur.

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