Dog Faced Hermans | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Dog Faced Hermans 

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In rock 'n' roll eclecticism is often the refuge of the dilettante, but not in the case of the Dog Faced Hermans, a Scottish quartet that calls Amsterdam home. For a moment on "Virginia Fur," a song from their new CD Those Deep Buds, the distorted guitars sound like Sonic Youth, a probing trumpet recalls Don Cherry, and the bass player borrows a line from the Temptations' "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Then the song lurches into a mechanical rhythm that serves as a launchpad for Middle Eastern-sounding instrumental extrapolations. Elsewhere they weave free jazz and folk music from Romania, India, Italy, and the United States into their jagged postpunk rock with ease. Dog Faced Hermans are one of those rare bands that are as exciting to watch as they are to hear; guitarists Andy and Colin (they don't give out their last names) careen back and forth with an abandon that belies the complexity of their music, while singer-trumpeter Marion stalks the stage with her horn to her lips looking like some menacing bird. Their 1993 Lounge Ax debut was one of my favorite concerts of the year, and the band thought enough of it to include four tracks from it on their live CD Bump and Swing. This year's return engagement should not be missed. Also on the bill are Rhythm Activism, Kicking Giant, and Small Factory. Friday, 9 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

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