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Early 90s noise-rock band Tar kick the dust off their aluminum guitars

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With Shellac, the Jesus Lizard, and Touch & Go—as well as Amphetamine Reptile Records just a clip away in Minneapolis—the Chicago posthardcore and noise-rock community of the early 90s was lush. And that doesn’t even count the dudes with the aluminum guitars. Tar commissioned the bizarre instruments from Ian Schneller at Specimen Products, and they soon thereafter became a signature for the band, even showing up on the album art of their 1993 EP Clincher. Though nimbler and little less hellfire than a lot of their peers, Tar still seethed with cycling metallic bass and measured bursts of rage that paired well with that onstage image and arsenal. Their four full-lengths released by the two aforementioned imprints between sport a Mudhoney-like bite and snark that cuts through the very same vintage, muddy din that’s being imitated by 90s babies today—as they try to re-create the sound of their birth year. The band, which disbanded after 1995’s Over and Out, has reunited only here and there over the past decade or so, so this is most definitely a special occasion.   v

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