Loraxx | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Yellville, the second album from the greatest power trio this town has produced since Shellac, is what some people would call an EP: its 11 tracks don't even hit the half-hour mark. But not one of the brutal, elegant bursts of articulate rage is any shorter or longer than it needs to be, and each of them is a stellar example of the hit-hard-and-from-many-directions school of punk. Guitarist and singer Arista Strungys is a fine shrieker and snarler capable of dropping down into sibilant subtlety when it suits her, as much a young Kim Gordon or Lydia Lunch as a post-riot grrrl, and her jagged, counterintuitive guitar lines crunch as hard as any SST highlight and stab as sharply as some of Rowland Howard's best Birthday Party moments. But more so than a lot of bands I've heard in this subgenre, Loraxx emphasizes rhythm. Santosh Isaac's bass and Elliott Talarico's drumming--huge and fat and almost tribal in Steve Albini's production--provide irresistible momentum. You've got just enough time to see the terrible beauty of each avalanche before it buries you. For this CD release party, Strungys claims the band is "making a God's honest attempt to play for a record 45 minutes rather than our usual 25." Saturday, February 3, 10 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700.


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