Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath | Double Door | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath 

When: Wed., Aug. 13, 9 p.m. 2014
Price: $15
Pat Boone’s Vegas-style desecration of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” drives home a terrible truth: deep down in its twisted, loathsome soul, metal is kind of like lounge. Horn-driven psychedelic Latin-funk band Brownout follows in that tradition of monstrous cheese on Brownout Presents Brown Sabbath (Ubiquity), a full album of zombie-fingered jazz-hands voguing to Black Sabbath’s stoned, stunned, titanic hooks. Admittedly, the result isn’t as revelatory or disturbing as Pat Boone’s scrubbed, faux-feral smarm. Nor is Brownout as weird as the original, accept-no-substitutes Sabbath, whose evocation of mastodons loudly expiring in slowly collapsing cabarets remains among the most unlikely sounds in all of popular music. Still, the Brown Sabbath project is certainly entertaining live. On “War Pigs” the singers sound like they’re having the time of their lives as they try and fail to wail as unmusically as Ozzy, and the band is equally unsuccessful in its attempts to bury its Mandrill-isms under a borrowed mantle of heaviness. Brownout occasionally seems to slip toward jam-band noodling, but that’s certainly a potential that Sabbath would nod to at times as well. Metal as Phish is possibly even more horrifying than metal as Frank Sinatra, but Brown Sabbath is too tasteful to go all the way there, for better and for worse. —Noah Berlatsky

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