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Lots of bands don't even exist for as long as it's taken these locals to find the sweet spot in their heavy-duty hybrid of dub, funk, art-rock, electro, and hardcore--they've been playing together in one configuration or another for a decade, but only in the past three or four years have all their fascinating ideas made the leap from the drawing board to the sound system. The new Heavy International (Aesthetics) is the second album front man Damon Locks and bassist Wayne Montana have recorded with drummer Tim Mulvenna, who's turned out in many ways to be the trio's missing link. With his help they push a rock-solid sound in just about every direction it'll go--their fearless progressive instincts are about as punk as it gets. Off-kilter grooves, anchored by Montana's nimble, sculptural bass lines, remain at the core of the music, but unexpected flavors jump out everywhere. Locks nonchalantly skips from an eerie falsetto to a hectoring rant to a kind of rhythmic jabbering derived from dancehall, tossing in odd melismatic flourishes that seem inspired by Oum Kalthoum records or east African taarab singing--and Mulvenna's intricate, hypnotizing beats draw from an equally wide range of influences. I don't know if there's another band anywhere doing such a killer job playing to both the head and the feet. The Watchers and the Low Down Brass Band open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $10.

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