The Spiny Anteaters are in love with the myriad sounds they coax from their own guitars: nonstandard cloudy swirls, long low drones, bright trebly accents, stabbing howls, and hazy tremolos. Comparisons to Crystalized Movements or very early Dinosaur come to mind, but the Canadian quartet's emphasis on sullen songcraft is entirely its own. Their songs aren't just excuses for instrumental grandstanding; nagging, insistent melodies emerge out of this home-recorded six-string murk. The band's long-playing debut, All Is Well (released on the Chicago-based Kranky imprint), is a pleasant diversion, but they're much more commanding live, where a punkish aggression vanquishes the occasional uncertainty of their recordings. The Spiny Anteaters play first on a terrific four-band bill that also features local space-rock heroes Sabalon Glitz, Philadelphia's shambling Strapping Fieldhands, and San Francisco's uncategorizably amazing Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. Saturday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Shawn Scallen.