Harvey Milk, Torche, Young Widows | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Harvey Milk, Torche, Young Widows Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Sat., July 18, 10 p.m. 2009

When some bands reunite, you want to ask them why they bothered, but others make you wonder why they ever split up in the first place. The more-heard-about-than-heard Harvey Milk—as far as I know the heaviest band ever to come out of Athens, Georgia—doesn’t quite fit into either category, though. It’s starting to sound like all the personalities the trio screwed around with in their 90s incarnation, even the sinister faux-Melvins shtick, were just experimental sketches: last year’s Life . . . the Best Game in Town (Hydra Head), their second full-length since reuniting in 2005, is quite possibly their all-time best. (Since May it’s also been available as a double LP, and Chunklet reissued the amazing DVD retrospective Anthem earlier this year.) Sludgy and playful, wide-ranging but focused, Life manages to include spectacular digressions—like a cover of Fear’s “We Destroy the Family”—without slipping into the apparent randomness of some of the band’s earlier releases. Earth and Sunn 0))) alum Joe Preston joined the group’s studio lineup on guitar and bass for this record—he’s not touring, alas—but Harvey Milk clearly owe their new consistency to their own long-simmering creative juices, not to a celebrity guest. Torche and Young Widows open. —Monica Kendrick

Price: $15, $13 in advance

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