Bionic Cavemen, Calliope, Dead Feathers | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Bionic Cavemen

Bionic Cavemen

Bionic Cavemen, Calliope, Dead Feathers 

When: Tue., Jan. 13, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $5
If bearded and bluesy sludge rockers Bionic Cavemen had come lumbering out of Seattle back in the 90s, they might have gotten actual radio play. But the souped-up Neanderthals hail from present-day Chicago, and their lack of any chance at a chart position frees them to grind through whatever far-flung tar pit takes their brutish fancy. They aren’t as daft or unforgivingly avant as the Melvins, but their pursuit of heavy is still winningly theatrical. The video for “Pig Blood” grabs the soft-loud Nirvana-Soundgarden dynamic and bashes it grimly about the head with barnyard corpses, while singer A. Morgan thrashes an inaudible tambourine and the rest of the band engages in stoned self-parody. “Hide,” from their 2013 self-released debut, Predator, bizarrely and gloriously channels Jim Morrison’s blues by way of Vegas, with Morgan sounding utterly deranged and decadent—and “Dead Eyes” isn’t unlike a half-mumbled, half-shrieked “House of the Rising Sun.” Their surprising range of approaches makes it clear that Bionic Cavemen are worthy heirs not just to Sabbath but to arty neoprimitives like Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. Dumb bands don’t come much smarter than this. —Noah Berlatsky

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