Health & Beauty, Invisible Things, Dark Fog, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Health & Beauty, Invisible Things, Dark Fog, Plastic Crimewave Syndicate Free Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Mon., May 25, 9 p.m. 2015

On Time as One Axis (New Atlantis) Invisible Things, the wild duo of Chicago guitarist Mark Shippy (ex-U.S. Maple) and Philadelphia drummer Jim Sykes (ex-Parts & Labor), deftly expand and improve upon the sprawling racket of their chaotic 2012 debut, Home Is the Sun. Produced by Martin Bisi, the brand-new album begins like a detonated bomb, with screaming and feverish slide-guitar noise spazzing all over hyper­active beats, and though there’s a loose structure at work on opener “Rockets,” the pair seem intent on obliterating it. On the seven pieces that follow one can really hear how the group have refined their sound—or rather their loudness and rudeness. Storming workouts service the hazy melodies Shippy sings in a kind of distant, numb howl, and at times Invisible Things sound like a vicious math-rock combo, with a complexity that would do Mick Barr proud. But what makes the project rewarding to hear are moments when the two pull back to focus on texture: the chiming sounds Shippy produces before “Four Figures” eventually coalesce into a chugging art-rocker, and Sykes’s full-on free playing keeps the listener forever guessing what his next move might be. —Peter Margasak

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