Les Breastfeeders | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Les Breastfeeders 

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If you need only one more reason to run to Canada and set your U.S. passport on fire, this Montreal band ought to do the trick. Its 2004 debut, Dejeuner sur l'herbe, tickles me more than any 60s-based rock I've heard since the Reigning Sound's Too Much Guitar, and that's some damn high praise. Les Breastfeeders' aggressive but perky sound--a hoarse, sneering male singer, a sweet 'n' sassy girl singer, lots of backup doot-doots and ooh-ahs, buzzy reverbed guitar and plump bass anchored by jaunty garage-rock drums, and sometimes treats like spooky vibraphone or Farfisa--has a lot more beach-blanket-bingo innocence and mod cheekiness than I can imagine Greg Cartwright and company pulling off. But there's no shortage of butchitude in songs like "He-he," a stomper with lines that translate to something like "I'm not necessarily the example they give to kids." Yeah, the lyrics are in French--except on the giddily inventive surf number "Miserats," which is, as it oughta be, in gibberish--but since when have you needed to make out the words to enjoy rock 'n' roll? The most surprising track is the closer, an ode to teenage heartache called "Concerto pour rien du tout" ("Concerto for Nothing at All"). Not only does the band manage to reproduce the sound of an old-school Shangri-Las-style weeper--soap-opera violins, grainy flute, timpani, and all--but it doesn't even sound cheesy. Wow. The Camaro Rouge, the Bottletones, and the Stranger open. Fri 6/17, 9 PM, Subterranean, 2011 W. North, 773-278-6600 or 800-594-8499, $8.

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