Chicago Drive-In
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Oh, unlucky 13!

| April 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Do we put extra stock in a month that has both an April Fool’s Day and a Friday the 13th? Is Halloween a better companion to the fated date? Who cares? Ceremony, Trampled By Turtles, In Solitude, and The Lumineers walk under ladders this Friday.

I always cringe when artists kick albums off with audio of sirens or emergency rooms, etc., because theoretically you want to demonstrate that the damage would result after the performance (unless you’re depicting a riot to get in your show, in which case proceed). Ceremony jump the gun a little bit on Zoo (Matador), mimicking an ambulance’s wail after its third track, but point taken. Arising from a particularly brutal punk scene outside San Francisco, the band have filed down some edges for their major-indie debut, but that doesn’t mean they’ve diposed of muscle and menace entirely. “Hysteria” kicks off with a Japandroids-ish whirr, while pockets of the album saunter with a leather-jacket swagger that recalls Murder City Devils. (Friday@Subterranean with Raw Nerve, The Ropes, and Divine Right.)

There are those who ruthlessly hold bluegrass to its essential elements, and others, like David Grisman, who are aware of those boundaries but stomp on its chest in the spirit of giving Bill Monroe’s creation some CPR. Trampled By Turtles try to have it both ways, populating Stars And Satellites (Banjodad) with cloudy folk-pop that has tastefully imported elements, and then traditional, lightning-paced hardcore bluegrass. The pacing can give you seasickness — slow cut, fast cut, slow cut, fast cut — and when they break the rules, the aim seems to be accessibility instead of artistic hurdles. But it’s better to know what you’re doing, than not. (Friday@Metro with These United States.)

It’s O.K. to parade your influences, as long as you do something with them, right? In Solitude have taken a big ol’ Magic Erase scrubber to King Diamond’s shrieking on The World. The Flesh. The Devil (Metal Blade). Wait, you ask, doesn’t that just mean they sound like the first Mercyful Fate albums? Welllll . . . like co-Swedes Ghost, In Solitude play up melodic elements so the galloping NWOBHM rhythms don’t feel quite so repetitive. With instrumental chops to spare, they prove their mettle with the final 22 minutes, “Dance Of The Adversary” and “On Burning Paths,” which feels like one song with several breath-saving interludes. (Friday@Bottom Lounge with Behemoth and The Devil’s Blood.)

A youthful enthusiasm for old sounds: that defines The Lumineers. Though it seems like the Colorado-based act might just be hopping on the Fleet Foxes/Mumford bandwagon, the truth is the media just looks for bands like this once the public latches onto something similar. What do you get on the group’s self-titled Dualtone debut? Warm, anthemic folk pop that’s about everything and nothing at once. Though their origins stem from a family member’s death, lead single “Ho Hey” seems to be about telling a friend about the girl who got away between doing shots at a sports bar. They insert themselves lyrically into decades past, which gets hammy and interferes with the overarching sincerity, but that’s why they slow it down on “Slow It Down”: so you can see that they (and the people who love them) aren’t kidding. (Friday@Space with Kopecky Family Band.)

— Steve Forstneger

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Category: Stage Buzz, Weekly

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