It's a wonder to encounter a band that manages to be striking without doing much that you'd call innovative. New York's Chavez--a foursome of indie-rock vets--blends well-worn elements from a variety of rock styles into a cohesive, engaging whole. On the new Ride the Fader (Matador), singer-guitarist Matt Sweeney (ex-Skunk), guitarist Clay Tarver (ex-Bullet LaVolta), drummer James Lo (ex-Live Skull), and bassist Scott Masciarelli (aka Scott Marshall, son of Garry) weave together the threads of their pasts as both musicians and fans. Sweeney throws himself into his rough wobbly melodies as he and Tarver construct an elaborate guitar architecture that fuses the more experimental impulses of New York's noise-rock tradition and classic hard-rock riffery. Masciarelli serves as a sturdy, rhythmic anchor while Lo by turns delivers arena-rock oomph and more complex structural contributions. On record the tunes benefit from the juxtaposition of hooks with moderately adventurous sonic gambits, but the band's inspired live performances definitely feed on the timeless energy of hard rock. Tuesday, 9 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 773-525-6620.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Chavez photo by Jessie Peretz.