In early 2003 Weasel Walter quit Chicago for Oakland, where he assembled the latest Flying Luttenbachers lineup: bassist Mike Green of Burmese, former Colossamite guitarist Ed Rodriguez, now of the Gorge Trio, and of course himself on drums. The band's sole constant member throughout its 13-year history, Weasel has mastered a distinctive compositional style--superfans can almost predict the music's harsh blasts, burps of silence, and peculiar interludes. I was sure I'd heard the Luttenbachers playing the stripped-down stuff on their latest, The Void (Troubleman), when they still rehearsed in my attic, but Weasel says I'm wrong--the music probably seems familiar, he explains, because it's a "suite comprised of smaller movements that fit together in various theoretical ways." For example, "the bass notes of the end riff on the last song is the main riff of the first song backwards." I'm not gonna pretend I can hear that, but I do think The Void is the rockingest record he's put out since Revenge in '96. The boiling, acidic guitar is like a whinny from one of the Four Horses of the Apocalypse, and the sinister bass sounds like it's falling into a bottomless pit. Prickly patches of melody crop up in a wasteland populated only by growling low end and Weasel's signature percussion--machine-gun snare, vicious cymbal flourishes, and blurs of double kick drum. Always a step ahead of everyone, even himself, Weasel's usually touring with new songs, if not a new band, by the time an album gets released--fortunately this tour will feature both the killer Void lineup and material from the record. With the Coughs, Gun Kata, and Conelrad. Friday 1, 10 PM, Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton, 773-975-0505 or 800-594-8499.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Mariah Gardner.