Feu Therese | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Feu Therese 

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The first time I tried playing the self-titled debut from this Montreal quartet, I was in the car with a pregnant friend who was battling morning sickness, and we had to turn it off. The album starts with a clap of thunder and several minutes of wobbly synth squawk, and what my friend said was, "I feel like we just whooshed into outer space"--the thought alone was enough to make her queasy. Getting past the first track of Feu Therese (just released on Constellation) may be tricky, especially if you're pregnant, but it's worth the effort. Started by Fly Pan Am guitarist Jonathan Parant after his old group went on perma-hiatus in 2004, the band is as much about drone and euphony as it is about disorienting sound collage. The album's plump with shimmery, heavily processed guitar 'splosions that bump with electronic beeps, and it's especially magical when you're listening in a small space or through headphones--the sounds can create the warm, enclosed feeling of an incubator. Headphones also make the teleported-to-another-planet noises sound even weirder: some tracks arrange braying organ chords over jagged slopes of guitar damage (there is a conventional rhythm section, which thankfully tends to play steadily), and others could pass for a Soothing Sounds for Baby LP that's been chopped and screwed by a very stoned art-school freshman. A perfect album for those who like their art-rock with a bit of squall, but easy barfers beware. Locks and Fessenden open. Thu 5/4, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401, $8.

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