Nicole Atkins, Cotton Jones, Pepper Rabbit | Subterranean | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Nicole Atkins, Cotton Jones, Pepper Rabbit Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Fri., March 4, 9:30 p.m. 2011

She's parted ways with her record label, a longtime live-in boyfriend, and her backing band since the release of her 2007 debut, Neptune City, and Brooklyn singer Nicole Atkins seems to have built up plenty of bitterness to bleed off on the new Mondo Amore (Razor & Tie). According to a recent New York Times story, she financed the sessions with gigs at unorthodox venues like the JetBlue terminal at JFK and the atrium of a Manhattan high-rise, and the new record is louder and tougher, setting her powerhouse wail in arrangements that recall classic-rock staples like Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. Yet as strong as her pipes are, she can sound shrill on the most aggressive material, which altogether dispenses with the slightly retro atmosphere of her first album. (That feel isn't completely missing from Mondo Amore, though—some of its best songs, like "You Were the Devil" and "War Is Hell," retain Neptune City's Roy Orbison-like richness.) Atkins is touring with a trio, and with any luck that stripped-down setting will keep the bombast in check. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15, $13 in advance

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