Protovulcan, Velcro Lewis Group, Werewheels | Burlington | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Courtesy the artist

Protovulcan, Velcro Lewis Group, Werewheels Recommended Soundboard Member Picks

When: Thu., Oct. 22, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: suggested donation
If you learned that drummer Deric Criss from local doom-pop band Walking Bicycles had started a duo with synth player Will MacLean from spacey Mercury Rev offshoot Variety Lights, what would you figure they’d play? If you guessed “demented instrumental acid-rock with robotic melodies that make it sound like party music from a late-70s episode of Doctor Who,” then dang, you’re really good at this. MacLean, who also has a solo project called Ice Cream Mission to Mars, plays every note in these songs himself, crowning his fat, toothy Moog bass and sizzling blurts of syncopated comping with sky-streaking leads and a wobbly, watery chorus of creepy vocoder that splits the difference between “campy sci-fi” and “pulp horror.” Meanwhile Criss’s unhinged, high-impact bashing feels caught in a three-way tug-of-war between frisky, soulful garage rock, frenetic funk, and swaggering 70s proto-metal. Protovulcan’s riot of kaleidoscopic tone colors makes most guitar bands sound as drab as they are, but the tunes are rooted in tried-and-true rock ’n’ roll conventions: simple, catchy licks, bare-bones chord progressions, and chunky, satisfying verse-chorus structures. The duo’s first and only recording, Stakes Is Low (Toy Moon), came out digitally in late August, and this show is a release party for the CD edition.
— Philip Montoro



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