Beef Jerk, Parent, Beth Israel, Person | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Beef Jerk, Parent, Beth Israel, Person Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sun., Nov. 13, 9 p.m. 2016

Beneath the shambling, scrappy attack of the delightfully ragged quartet Beef Jerk, from Sydney, Australia, is a sharp sense of humor, and on their recent album Tragic (Trouble in Mind) lyrics pile up life’s disappointments like mounds of dead leaves that won’t stay still. Over the wag-along groove of “Another Drop” strumming guitars wrestle with a simple chord progression as Jack Lee slurs, “I’m just another drop in the ocean / Not worth the notice.” From there he keeps on elucidating his worthlessness, seemingly intent on establishing some kind of value; on “Train” Lee’s joined by fellow guitarist Michael Branson as they sing of existential boredom in tandem—“I’m on a slow-moving train / Going through the same old place.” Yet as much as they suggest that they’re spinning in place, their music, a raucous postpunk blast that conjures the late-80s/early-90s glory days of Aussie and New Zealand indie rock, definitely goes somewhere. Rather than sound as if they’re actively summoning that past, however, Beef Jerk boldly stumble forward, their energy and purpose feeling as fresh as anything happening today.

Peter Margasak

Price: $8

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