ADULT., TUSSLE | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Perhaps the truest line in the verbose manifesto that accompanies Adult.'s fourth album, Why Bother? (Thrill Jockey), is the relatively concise "We lack a casualness." With the urgent restlessness and monomaniacal focus of speed freaks, husband-and-wife duo Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus cut away the bullshit of new-wave revivalism to produce graceful, darkwavey interludes and ferocious Suicide-esque eruptions that feel downright vital. Even their most singsongy moments have a sort of surreal quality, disorienting and reorienting, as though they came about through some sort of automatic-writing session. --Monica Kendrick

There's never been any doubt that Tussle were following the lead of minimalist funk bands like Liquid Liquid and ESG. But even by their own previous standards they sound surprisingly stripped-down on last year's superb Telescope Mind (Smalltown Supersound): nothing but lean percussion, heavy bass, and taut keyboards. The record feels a little eggheady at points--Tussle aren't as concerned with rocking the house as their forebears--but the songs are still infectious and funky as all get-out. --Peter Margasak

Adult. headlines; Parts & Labor and Tussle open. a 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $12.

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