Breeders, Whispertown 2000 | Double Door | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Breeders, Whispertown 2000 Critic's Choice Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Aug. 13, 9 p.m. 2009

The Breeders’ 1993 breakthrough album, Last Splash, is one of the odder alt-rock records to cross over into the mainstream during the heady days following the grunge explosion—for every nugget of sugar-high guitar pop like “Cannonball” or “Divine Hammer” there’s a piece of spacey abstraction like “Mad Lucas” or “I Just Wanna Get Along.” Last Splash’s squirrelly strangeness set Kim Deal and company apart from the 120 Minutes pack and helped the Breeders avoid getting dismissed as one-hit wonders, even though technically that’s still what they are. This un­pretentious artsy streak wasn’t much evident in Deal’s work (with the Amps and elsewhere) during the Breeders’ late-90s hiatus or in their 2002 comeback album, Title TK, but on last year’s Mountain Battles (4AD) it’s definitely back—songs like the lushly reverbed “Overglazed” and the choppy “German Studies” combine the experimental and the catchy the way their best classic material did, and the record zigs and zags from straight-up earwormy tunes into partsy, discontinuous arrangements, nonstandard time signatures, and atmospherics almost worthy of post-rock. This spring’s self-released Fate to Fatal EP ups the quirk with the droning ballad “The Last Time” (featuring vocals from Mark Lanegan) and an extremely slanted cover of Bob Marley’s “Chances Are” that strips out the soul in favor of stiff, sparsely plucked acoustic guitar and Kim and Kelley Deal’s creepy close harmonies. —Miles Raymer

Metro tickets honored for concertgoers 21 and over.

Price: $22, $20 in advance

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