Metalux | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Metalux

After a series of personnel changes in the past two years, the local darkwave project Metalux seems to be back down to core members J. Graf and M.V. Carbon--who both also contribute guitar to the mysterious and scientifically fractured rock of Bride of No No. In this outfit they take a slightly less accessible approach, torturing their axes with kitchen knives or barely playing them at all and augmenting their mutant sounds with quivering samples, creepy carny keyboards, and ominous synth drums. And recently Carbon, who sings with a wide-eyed toddler's stare through a reel-to-reel tape deck, performed with a papier-mache donkey head hanging from her neck. Metalux songs stumble into moments of pop lucidity--blown-out beats played on Graf's octagonal drum pads and honest-to-god gut-wrenching melodies momentarily get audiences moving--and the cryptic notes-to-self they refer to when performing seem to indicate a larger plan, though damned if I can figure out what it is. On their newly released Fluorescent Towers (on Hanson, the tiny Michigan label run by sometime Metalux programmer Twig and Wolf Eyes' Aaron Dilloway), that enticing uncertainty isn't lost--did they really mean to make a malaised melange of B-movie sound-track snippets, or is that just what came out? Saturday, June 9, 9 PM, Butcher Shop, 1319 W. Lake, third floor; 312-666-4566.

LIZ ARMSTRONG

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Suzy Poling.

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