Avengers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

San Francisco's Avengers may have been the best straight-ahead punk-rock band this country ever produced, a stripped-down, full-throttle four-piece made unique by the charisma, sarcastic rage, and concise, razor-sharp melodies of front woman Penelope Houston. But they released just one three-song single during their two-year existence, and though a handful of compilations have come and gone since their breakup in 1979, the group has remained relatively obscure. Most recently DBK Works released The American in Me, which collects some hot-shit tape from one of their final gigs as well as some previously unissued studio work. (It's named after one of the band's classic tunes, a searing inquiry into the nature of patriotism that's truer than ever today.) A reconstituted version of the Avengers, featuring Houston and original guitarist Greg Ingraham, has played out sporadically over the past several years, even rerecording three old songs for the 1999 retrospective Died for Your Sins (Lookout). The sound of the new lineup pales next to the real deal, at least on disc, but this is the group's first Chicago appearance in any form and the opportunity to hear them rip through the old stuff is something I wouldn't pass up lightly. The Effigies, the Plus Ones, and M.O.T.O. open. Sun 9/3, 9 PM, Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont, 773-281-4444 or 866-468-3401, $12 in advance, $14 at the door, 18+.

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