Mclusky | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Andrew Falkous rants in the fine tradition of British misanthropes like John Lydon and Mark E. Smith, and the Welsh trio Falkous fronts, Mclusky, is certainly tradition minded--they brought in Steve Albini to record their 2002 breakthrough, Mclusky Do Dallas, just like buzz bands trying to prove they were serious used to do way back when. When Mclusky invited Albini back for an encore the results were more diffuse. There isn't anything as unrelenting as "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues" on The Difference Between Me and You Is That I'm Not on Fire (Beggars/Too Pure), and the band has unlaced the taut intensity of Mclusky Do Dallas in favor of a sometimes scattershot trip through a range of styles. But Falkous remains acerbic, his store of elliptical insults undiminished ("Don't teach him how to cook. That'd kill him," he rails of some nameless doink on "Without MSG I Am Nothing"). And many of the band's experiments--not just the PiL-indebted explorations of rhythm, but also the Rage Against the Machine-styled squiggles on "1956 and All That"--successfully expand its reach. Besides, they've never before recorded anything as achingly pretty as "She Will Only Bring You Happiness," which opens with Falkous preparing for a liaison: "Note to self / Be erect by half past ten." Oceansize and Jesus & the Devil open. $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Monday, June 14, 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508.

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