When: Sat., May 25, 9 p.m. 2013
Though long overlooked in music-history books, Milwaukee’s Die Kreuzen were a crucial part of the posthardcore puzzle. Formed in 1981, they released their self-titled debut, which laid out the connections between hardcore and metal, in 1984—by which time labels such as SST, Touch and Go, and Homestead were all releasing records by independent bands that had emerged from punk but bucked its limitations. Die Kreuzen played with a punk ferocity and velocity—bassist Keith Brammer and drummer Erik Tunison formed a precise, heavy rhythm section—and the combination of Brian Egeness’s metallic, serrated guitar and Dan Kubinski’s scorched howl seemed to anticipate the tortured, brutal screech of death metal, which was coming around the bend. Starting with their next album, 1986’s October File, Die Kreuzen began easing up on the tempos and moving into an arty hard-rock sound, with Kubinski mastering a proto-metal cry and Egeness finessing an almost prog-rock tone. The band went on to make a couple more albums (like the others, for Touch and Go), but after Egeness left in ’92, Die Kreuzen’s days were numbered. Last year the group reunited—with former Couch Flambeau guitarist Jay Tiller replacing Egeness, who declined to participate—and they’re bringing their career-spanning show to Chicago for the first time in more than two decades. —Peter Margasak We Are Hex and Canadian Rifle open.