Operation S | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Operation S 

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There's no easier way for a draft-ager to piss off dad (or our Francophobe president, if your name's Jenna) than to learn and howl the lyrics to the eponymously titled debut from Paris synth punks Operation S. All in French--save lingua punca like "paranoia mafia" and "so sexy"--the record serves as an overdriven answer to the synth-heavy wave-punk sound of Portland's glorious Epoxies. But where the Epoxies write songs around their keyboards, here synths double the guitars--making the band essentially a souped-up incarnation of the No-Talents, the '77-style rawk outfit in which lead singer Cecilia and bassist Iwan cut their teeth. Since this is punk, Cecilia spits the words out clearly enough that anyone who stayed awake through high school French can figure out which songs are about stupid society, which are about stupid men, and which are about hot boys; since they're silly and jaded, Operation S do best with goofs like "Je ne veux pas grandir" and the sarcastic "Vince mon amour," where chicks wreck a stadium over a rock idol. But they're still young and angry enough to fill each track with menace and sell declarations like "Operation suicide / It's me who's gonna decide." (If you're wondering, it rhymes about as well untranslated.) They play second on a bill with headliners Camaro Rouge, Headache City, the Wives, and the Kodiaks. Friday 22, 10 PM, Cal's, 400 S. Wells, 312-922-6392, 21+. Free.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/courtesy Broken Rekids.

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