Uncle Acid, Ruby the Hatchet, Ecstatic Vision | Metro | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Uncle Acid, Ruby the Hatchet, Ecstatic Vision Recommended 18+ Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Image

When: Sat., Sept. 19, 9 p.m. 2015

The British psychedelic-doom band formerly known as Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats tell the lurid story of a homeless serial killer with their brand-new fourth studio full-length, The Night Creeper (Rise Above). Front man Kevin Starrs loves to make concept albums, and he imagines this one as a pulpy paperback novel adapted into a film noir and then, 20 years later, into a gory giallo movie. The Night Creeper exudes a worldly, cynical evil, the sort that takes perverse pleasure in punctured innocence—it evokes the decadent pop of the late 60s in order to reenact the bleak comedown from its flower-power idealism. Starrs’s sneering vocals have a rakish, insidious menace, like a straight razor in a white-gloved hand, and their finely honed edge lets them carve his expertly crafted melodies into the smothering bulk of the lush, groovy riffs, which he fattens up with electric piano or organ. Uncle Acid’s 2011 breakthrough, Blood Lust, was hardly a tidily produced record, but The Night Creeper sounds like a filthy, lightless fog bank, swallowing you in a narcotized haze—the drums are so buried in fuzz that the swinging guitars do all the music’s rhythmic work. Even the melancholy instrumental “Yellow Moon,” played on clean guitar and Mellotron flute, feels cloudy in its radiance. Starrs began Uncle Acid as a studio project in 2009, and he’s played with a different lineup on each of his past three albums; his touring band consists of guitarist Yotam Rubinger (who also doubles Starrs’s vocals), drummer Itamar Rubinger, and bassist Vaughn Stokes.

Philip Montoro

Price: $27, $25 in advance

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