Cloakroom, Dim, North, Bereft | Beat Kitchen | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Cloakroom, Dim, North, Bereft 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sun., Aug. 30, 8 p.m. 2015

Bassist Evan Leek, guitarist Matthew Mutterperl, and drummer Zack Hansen, better known as difficult-to-google Arizona three-piece North, play a distinctive hybrid of blocky postmetal and ragged, ramshackle southern sludge, its knotty, swaggering plod broken up by bleakly lyrical interludes. They began their career as an instrumental outfit, but these days Leek adds vocals that alternate between a moody holler and a phlegmy, frustrated-sounding roar (it works pretty well to picture him as a lion who’s just had his car stolen). North’s implacable momentum pushes stubbornly forward against equally stubborn resistance, like they’re walking into a gale loaded with blowing sand, but the music’s tone isn’t as grim and resigned as that might suggest: busy fills and flourishes in the drums graft a nimble, light-footed feel onto the trudging riffs, and the songs are lit like a dusk thunderstorm by glinting guitar harmonics and bright arpeggios. North’s new label, Prosthetic, recently reissued the 2014 EP Metanoia and the band’s 2006 debut, the EP Siberia, and earlier this month it dropped the two-song digital single Through Raven’s Eyes. One passage in “Old Blood” almost qualifies as a triumphant chorus, but it has no vocals and never recurs; meanwhile “Silverfeather” is nearly six minutes of staticky washing-machine ambience, laced with piano, synthesizer, and guitar feedback. These guys are all about the long haul, not cheap thrills and instant gratification—and even though survival doesn’t happen in a single cathartic moment, it’s still a victory.

Philip Montoro

Price: $10

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