MASS SHIVERS | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader


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Mass Shivers' full-length debut, Ecstatic Eyes Glow Glossy (due August 21 on Sickroom), is awfully, awfully good. This Chicago trio (which becomes a quartet with a second drummer at local shows) captures the spirit of the best out-rock of the 70s: Can's free-form tribal-Teutonic drums, Beefheart's stomping junkyard riffs and unhinged harmonic imagination, Faust's cerebral jams, Eno's expansive pop palette. In less capable hands, this kind of ambition often results in little more than a self-conscious statement about the band members' LP collections, but Mass Shivers skirt that pitfall with their discipline and devotion to detail. Standouts like "Womanizing Metal Studs," "Downwind of Amour," and "Mossy Nethers" (with guest turns from both members of Michael Columbia) are dense and complex, with meticulously organized, counterintuitive guitar lines, but the substantial vocal melodies and playful backup harmonies make the tunes not only approachable but memorable. The Chandeliers headline, Mass Shivers play second, and Beau Wanzer opens; Mike Broers of Ghost Arcade spins between sets. a 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600. F --J. Niimi


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