When: Sun., Aug. 14, 9 p.m. 2011
Of course KMFDM can't be the same band now that they were in their 90s commercial heyday, when Wax Trax! Records was the go-to label for their flavor of house- and techno-inflected industrial music and the PVC-sheathed youth of the world looked to Chicago. (Core members Sascha Konietzko and En Esch both lived here for a while in the early 90s.) Konietzko, who's now back in his native Germany with American singer Lucia Cifarelli, is the only one left from those early lineups—Esch's militantly goofy exuberance is particularly missed—but after 17 albums he's more than earned the authority to steer this ship any way he pleases. KMFDM's latest, WTF?! (Metropolis), has the stark and distinctive Aidan Hughes cover artwork that's always made the band's records so recognizable, and it backs up its political bluster with a stew of programming, shredding, and heavy breathing. It's hardly likely to teach you anything new (I trust you were already aware that "motherfucker" was a rhythmically flawless word), but it plants its impressively polished black boots reliably on the pleasure centers of the lizard brain. —Monica Kendrick Army of the Universe, 16 Volt, and Human Factors Lab open.