Forgotten Four | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Forgotten Four 

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Anybody remember Screeching Weasel? I know most Americans can't remember what the leader of the free world said two lies ago, but I'm talking about something people supposedly listened to for fun. In case you blocked out the Bush years the first time around, in the late 80s and early 90s those locals made a name for themselves pounding out Ramones-inspired punk with a double-extra portion of snarly guitar and a front man who sounded like the dickhead little brother you can't quit loving. Fellow Chicagoans the Forgotten Four have borrowed that comfy, broken-in style, and they like the fit just fine--you can actually sing most of "Blitzkrieg Bop" over "Stun Gun," a tune on the Four's second self-released album, the recent Danger City Dead Men. Their aggression is more grown-up than bratty, though, with heaps of sleazy, guttery blues trash a la the Murder City Devils or New York Dolls cluttering up the tidy pop-punk song structures. The lyrics are just as stoopid as the Ramones', if not more so, and in at least one case they cross the line into "painful." But singer Brad Skafish--who's around my age and has his own fricking law practice, which makes me feel really feeble--delivers them like he just don't care. Come to think of it, I don't either--not when he's got a band like this stomping and swaggering behind him. Black Giraffe and Pontius open. Thu 2/3, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 800-594-8499, $8.

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