The Hot Snakes are technically a side project for Rocket From the Crypt's John Reis--albeit one in which he reunites with Rick Froberg, his partner in his other main band of the 90s, Drive Like Jehu. But with their second full-length, Suicide Invoice (on Reis's own Swami imprint), the Snakes are poised to pull up at least neck and neck with Rocket. Any suggestion that good ol' punk rawk might be creatively exhausted is effectively trounced by this outing's sheer persuasive energy. Critics who belittle "simple" rock 'n' roll wholesale don't seem to get that not just anybody can fashion a great chorus out of three letters (in this case "LAX"). The devil's in the details: the Snakes push the repetitions just far enough, a guitar line goes into overdrive at exactly the right time, a landing chord has the perfect tense clunk. Openers Beehive & the Barracudas--whose loose lineup includes Snakes bassist Gar Wood, RFTC guitarist Andy Stamets, RFTC roadie Dustin Milsap, and ex-Red Aunt Kerry Davis--are less forceful, less graceful, less polished, and far more scary, like the raving lunatic on the bus who might turn his attention to you if you look too long. Their most recent disc, last year's 'Plastic Soul' With the White Apes (Swami), is all jagged edges and pointy elbows, full of implied threats and thoroughly devoid of any comforting regularity. Friday, August 23, 10 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee; 773-489-3160.