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Report Suspicious Activity

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I've heard a theory that the U.S. government was behind the dissolution of the 80s hardcore scene, which seemed to grow in size and energy with each passing year before imploding virtually overnight. Cointelpro ops were suspected, like the "hippie" riot-inducing shills in Grant Park during the '68 DNC or the agents who insinuated their way into the SDS. I'm not so sure about all this--the same person passed along the theory that D. Boon's death was a CIA setup--I simply believe that hardcore's time had come and gone, so a lot of the bands either regrouped stylistically or broke up altogether and found other careers. But the self-titled CD from Report Suspicious Activity (Alternative Tentacles)--a trio featuring Vic Bondi from Chicago's ur-core Articles of Faith and J. Robbins from Jawbox and Burning Airlines--is honest and angry enough to make me wonder if hardcore's just been in deep cover, waiting for the right circumstances to reemerge. Bondi still has the same unguarded sincerity that provoked the scorn of the cynics in American punk's second wave, and he retrieves a few other things from the early midwestern scene besides indignation and ferocity: the huge, churning "Minneapolis" guitar sound, the understated drum production, and screaming that's honed into actual hooks. It all fits the album's ceaseless, from-the-gut anti-Bush incitements, and for the iPod crowd who prefer Green Day's political-punk-lite-with-a-cute-haircut, "Under the Hill" sets things straight: "Your weblog won't help you / Go download some piss / You're older than I was at your age / And I'm younger than this." The Bomb and Rollo Tomasi open. Sat 2/18, 10 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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