DIY rockers Guerilla Toss blend whimsy and profundity on Twisted Crystal | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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DIY rockers Guerilla Toss blend whimsy and profundity on Twisted Crystal


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Guerilla Toss are down with the Grateful Dead. In an impassioned Facebook post from July 2015, the New York-based band threw laurels upon a group they called “the first ‘DIY’ band,” noting that the Dead used harsh noise in the 1960s and brandished modular synthesizers throughout the ’70s. Like the Dead, Guerilla Toss combine a spirit of experimentation with a rugged DIY ethos and a penchant for lobbing undeniable hooks into unsuspecting ears. Their newest album, 2018’s psychedelic stunner Twisted Crystal (DFA), demonstrates their singular outlook, oscillating between whimsy and profundity; at this show, the band will surely complement technical rigor with their knack for improvisation. They’re sharing the bill with two Chicago groups, Good Willsmith and Blacker Face. Good Willsmith guitarist (and avowed Deadhead) Doug Kaplan will contribute Jerry Garcia-influenced shredding to the textural singing, keyboards, and electronics provided by bandmates Natalie Chami and Max Allison. And Afropunk quintet Blacker Face, while no strangers to the far-out, are one of the tightest bands this author has seen. Singers Jolene Whatevr and P.T. Bell are dynamic and precise but unafraid to tread into more caustic territory, providing additional bite to a night of forward-thinking sounds.   v

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