Chastity Belt, American Wrestlers, Kyle Kaos | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Chastity Belt, American Wrestlers, Kyle Kaos Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Tue., June 23, 9 p.m. 2015

The ramshackle charm and melodic sophistication of Seattle’s Chastity Belt occasionally seem at odds with the silly humor that laces the band’s 2013 debut No Regerts (particularly on a track like “Giant (Vagina),” about waking up to find oneself a giant vagina). On their terrific follow-up, Time to Go Home (Hardly Art), the foursome recall the shambling guitar sound of early-80s UK postpunk with a winsome, low-key sensibility that has kept most of the new tunes swimming in my head for weeks. The humor is still present too, but it’s couched in a mixture of melancholic resignation and feisty indignation. On the hooky, chiming “Cool Slut,” guitarist Julia Shapiro delivers a deadpan defense of horniness (“We just wanna have some fun / Grind up on everyone”), and she proudly proclaims, “It’s okay to be slutty”—though deep down the songs seem to collectively flip the bird to gendered behavior. The opener “Drone” describes romantic hope washed away by another bad choice: “He was just another man / Trying to teach me something.” In the end, the muted energy of the sharp combo’s tracks seems symbolic: these girls want to be free, but this fucked-up world won’t let them. —Peter Margasak

Price: $8

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