Pet Symmetry, Annabel, Lifted Bells, Joie de Vivre 17+ Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., May 29, 8 p.m. 2015

As Chicago trio Pet Symmetry, guitarist Erik Czaja (Dowsing), bassist-vocalist Evan Weiss (Into It. Over It.), and drummer Marcus Nuccio (Mountains for Clouds, Please & Thank Yous) have their sights set on pop perfection. They translate the thorny, emotionally fraught, and occasionally woeful vibe of their other emo projects into succinct power-pop tunes with a ridiculous density of hooks—on Facebook they refer to their music as “geekmo,” but I just call it fun. Hell, they tweaked the Beach Boys to name their brand-new debut album Pets Hounds (Asian Man), and it wouldn’t surprise me if Fall Out Boy wish they could’ve thought of song titles like “Use Your Illusion III (Knock-Knock-­Knockin’ on Evan’s Door)” and “Salad Daze (Seein’ Cred).” Its lean 26 minutes feel like speeding down the highway in your best buddy’s car with your head sticking out the window and plenty of treats in the cup holder. Tonight’s show is the Pets Hounds record-release party, and Pet Symmetry aren’t the only band in the house with a new LP; openers Annabel drop their third album, Having It All (Tiny Engines), in June. The Ohio four-piece steer windswept midwestern emo out of the cornfields and tidy it up: their fresh-scrubbed sound combines disarming harmony vocals, lonesome guitar melodies, and the forceful momentum of a drum corps. Having It All captures the magic of a fleeting moment alongside the sadness of feeling it passing you by, and makes it seem beautiful to look back on your youth without rose-colored glasses. —Leor Galil

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