Erase Errata | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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This San Francisco quartet makes beautiful sense out of chaos, its collision of sounds creating a weird, hyperactive dance music. On the 2001 release Other Animals (Troubleman) drummer Bianca Sparta and bassist Ellie Erickson lay down a numb postdisco throb as guitarist Sara Jaffe dispenses slate gray chords and fractured licks; on top of it all Jenny Hoysten shrieks, whoops, and yodels--a beguilingly slippery style that teeters between yammering and song--and contributes the occasional unholy blast of trumpet. The music has all sorts of postpunk antecedents--the swift, scratchy guitars of the Fire Engines and Josef K, the off-kilter funk of the Contortions and the Bush Tetras, the eccentric singing of Lora Logic and Lene Lovich--but its hodgepodge construction is one of a kind. More recent tracks reveal a looser but heftier sound, the rhythms more foreboding, the guitar more brutal, the vocals more confrontational. On "Leg. Night," from the recent Kill Rock Stars compilation Fields and Streams, the bass and guitar are dirtier and the frightening Hoysten blurs the line between singing and gasping. A three-inch CD on the Tigerbeat 6 label, shared with the similarly inclined Numbers, finds the band diving headfirst into some wonderfully grimy noise before returning to their usual herky-jerk stomp. I'm not sure where these women are headed, but they're already a class above the neo-80s losers. They open for Le Tigre and Panty Raid. Monday, August 19, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 773-549-0203.

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

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