Sons & Daughters, The Double | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Sons & Daughters, The Double


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Love the Cup (Domino), the debut EP by Glasgow quartet SONS & DAUGHTERS, was filled with twanging guitars, bleak lyrical themes, and boom-chicka-boom beats--a fitting approach for a band that named a song after Johnny Cash. But though they still kick up some sawdust on their first full-length album, The Repulsion Box (Domino), they're hardly hemmed in stylistically. The stuttering guitar that drives "Medicine," the junkie's lament that opens the album, sounds like it was lifted from an Ex tune; the tale of a runaway bride in "Red Receiver" is set to an acoustic skiffle shuffle; and the anthemic "Taste the Last Girl" echoes early Blondie. The album was produced by Victor Van Vugt, who's worked with Nick Cave and PJ Harvey, and recorded in Cologne at Conny Plank's studio, home to many Brian Eno and Kraftwerk sessions in the 70s. You might expect some record-geek reverence given those circumstances, but there's nothing studied about Adele Bethel's vein-bursting guitar leads or the band's precise, fiery playing. --Bill Meyer

The few tracks I've heard from THE DOUBLE's 2004 album, Palm Fronds (Catsup Plate), feature some fairly run-of-the-mill pop-rock songwriting, but the tunes get a boost from their layers of clunky programmed drums and in-the-red keyboards. The appealingly queasy sound is somewhat accidental; when drummer Jeff McLeod injured a hand just before recording, the band adapted by using drum machines and other electronics. With McLeod back behind his kit, the Brooklyn quartet sounds more ordinary on its forthcoming Loose in the Air (Matador), and David Greenhill's bored-sounding, pitch-challenged singing makes Stephen Malkmus sound like Frank Sinatra. But the band has a knack for catchy yet lopsided melodies, and there's some fine interplay between Donald Beaman's texture-rich guitar work and Jacob Morris's coloristic organ and prerock piano. --Peter Margasak

Sons & Daughters headline, the Double plays second, and the Bound Stems open. Tue 9/6, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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