+/- | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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The +/- set I caught at CMJ a few weeks ago tore my asshole a new asshole. I was never a big fan of Versus (singer-guitarists James Baluyut and Patrick Ramos's old group), and I mainly thought earlier +/- albums were mildly clever revisions of Unrest's eclectic postpop. But the band's songwriting and chemistry have--and I know this term is thrown around loosely--matured dramatically. They opened their set with "Fadeout," a slow-burning fuse of a song from the new Let's Build a Fire (Absolutely Kosher) that showcases their greatest strengths: complementary riffs that interlock so tightly the guitarists could be joined at the hip, deliberate and tasteful deployment of neato pedal noises, and the ingenious drumming of Chris Deaner, who not only wallops a standard kit but uses laptop-connected pads to trigger a variety of vivid punches and sequences. I had no choice but to spray Yuengling all over the stage--and next to me, former Unrest front man Mark Robinson broke into berserker mode, geometrically jerking his camcorder around like a short-circuiting boom crane. The Changes headline both shows. a 7 PM (18+) and 10:30 PM (21+), Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, $12.

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