Epoxies | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The Epoxies don't do a thing that wasn't done to death by 1987, but if you still care about that after you've heard them, you're too jaded for your own good. These Portland neo-new wavers play pop punk splashed with Doctor Who synths and space-laser noises, and their sci-fi-influenced lyrics attack consumerism, crummy jobs, and the media conspiracy to brainwash the kids. Sure, TV-mall madness has been a punk-rock whipping boy for decades, but the Epoxies tear into it with fresh rage. They've got a deadly weapon too, and it's not the way the boys' duct-tape pants smell: front woman Roxy Epoxy has big, sweet, soulful pipes, a towering stage presence, and a fondness for outfits that make Milla Jovovich's getup in The Fifth Element look classy. The band's self-titled debut album was an indie smash back in 2002, selling out its first pressing on Dirtnap in three weeks, and the new Stop the Future (Fat Wreck Chords) is even better. The bass and guitar are beefier and the drums are more aggressive, alternating between hyperactive backbeats and tom-heavy tattoos that recall "Goody Two Shoes." The superhooky synth lines sound increasingly indebted to the Go-Go's, and now that I think of it, Roxy's voice is a bit like Belinda Carlisle's--though I can't imagine Ms. C belting out lines like "It's like holding back the ocean / Trying to hold onto your mind / It's a struggle like no other / For the fate of humankind." The mind-control theme ties the album together, but the songs are invigorating, not oppressive--they make you want to put on your dancing pants and go cut all the Comcast cables on your block. The Aquabats headline and the Phenomenauts play first. Thu 7/7, 6:30 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $13.99. All ages.

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