Soft Speaker, Multicult, Polish Gifts, Split Feet | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Soft Speaker, Multicult, Polish Gifts, Split Feet Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Thu., Aug. 22, 9 p.m. 2013

Bass tone. Noisy 90s postpunk bands—the Jesus Lizard, Shellac, early Rye Coalition—swore by thick, crunchy, bordering-on-distorted bass. Extra sharp to cut through the muck and full enough to stand alone when necessary, it would offset and compete with jagged guitars shooting off at every conceivable angle. It wasn’t considered obligatory for the bassist to simply chug along on the root tone of whatever chord the band was playing; the low-end backbone could be disjointed and elaborate and still end up more solid than whatever the hell was happening with the guitar. Baltimore’s Multicult live by this bass credo. The trio are unabashed disciples of the aforementioned bands, and their 2012 full-length, Spaces Tangled (Sleeping Giant Glossolalia), is sometimes a mindfuck of start-stop rhythms ("Stop Calling") and sometimes a mess of bass chasing its own tail in a dizzying circle ("Groteske"). The shouty vocals lurk low in the mix, never quite cutting through or even really putting a dent in the instrumentation, but that’s just as well. This is a group with a "Brainbombs" tag on its Bandcamp page, after all—the album’s pummeling blare screams loud enough all by itself. —Kevin Warwick Multicult also play a free in-store at 6 PM at Permanent Records, 1914 W. Chicago, between headliner Nones and opener Slut River.

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