Drive Liike Jehu | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Drive Liike Jehu

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San Diego's Drive Like Jehu may have named themselves after the crazed Old Testament chariot-driving king, but as recklessly as their squealing, caustic guitars careen around on the surface, at heart their music is controlled by a strong sense of order and precision. While their second album, Yank Crime (Interscope), lacks the dense packets of hidden hooks that filled the band's debut, it's another foot or two up in terms of unwieldy guitar firepower. The guitars of Rick Froberg (who adds to the chaos with possessed, sputtering vocals) and John Reis (who also leads Rocket From the Crypt) alternately duke it out and collaborate to build giant sonic mounds buttressed by anything at their disposal: slashing leads, piercing feedback, bass-heavy rumbles, acidic harmonics, and endless, cyclical two-chord riffing. Drive Like Jehu's trump card is building a viciously propulsive whole out of this jumble of sound; girded by drummer Mark Trombino and bassist Mike Kennedy, they turn pounding repetition into transcendence. Lyrics are just words to slop on the sonic compost ("Aloha / Suit up! / Luau" goes the hypnotic chant on "Luau"); Drive Like Jehu speak sound, volume, and rhythm. Fellow San Diegans Tanner and Custom Floor open. Friday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/O..

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