Macabre | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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My inner handwringer says I shouldn't encourage Macabre--think of the children, she says, especially the ones who can't tell the difference between worshipping serial killers and satirizing people who worship serial killers. Even if the band's kidding--and there's no way to be sure they are!--some kid with an underdeveloped sense of humor might take them seriously and end up murdering somebody himself, and then on top of all the bloodshed we'd have to endure a bunch of self-righteous lawyering even more fucked-up than the suit that one poor dead guy's parents filed against Ozzy for "Suicide Solution." Of course, in the real world nobody will ever sue these local goof-metal diehards--they aren't rich and famous enough, for one thing--and the sensible reason to dislike them is because their shtick is so fucking dopey. (If stage names like Corporate Death and Dennis the Menace aren't shtick, I'll be a rotten Popsicle.) But dopey has never stopped me before, and I love laughing like an idiot at these guys' lyrics and trying to polka to their blistering tunage. My favorite Macabre release came out under an alias of sorts--in 2002 the Macabre Minstrels recorded a mercifully short EP showcasing the band's sensitive side on five acoustic folk tunes, including a fairly faithful version of the summer-camp classic "The Cat Came Back" ("They thought he was a goner / But the cat came back / He just wouldn't stay away"). Their most recent disc, the 2003 full-length Murder Metal, was a return to foul form, with the usual speed-metal mazurkas and loads of cringe-inducing forced rhymes like "Seven thousand volts I will apply / With battery cables clamped onto your scrotum / Your testicles I will fry." Classy! Usurper, Destroy Everything, and Ion Vein open. Fri 12/23, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $10.

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