Shudder to Think | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Shudder to Think 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

While grungy guitar bombast is currently all the rage, this D.C. quartet wallows in pop music's most unfashionable idiom: art rock. Their tunes feature the saw-toothed dissonance of artists like Captain Beefheart, Slovenly, and mid-period King Crimson. Even stranger than the music is the fact that the band has recorded three records for the Dischord label, normally a bastion of punk. The band's latest outing, Pony Express Record (Epic), contains all the guitar sizzle of ex-labelmates Fugazi and Lungfish but wanders far afield from riff-dependent song structures with jagged chord clusters and uneven tempos. While other bands get tagged as avant-garde simply because they don't know how to play in time or in tune, STT's musical unorthodoxies are deliberate and tightly orchestrated. As with many art-rock bands the singing is a love-it-or-hate-it affair, with Craig Wedren operatically warbling quasi-serial melodies. Yet STT isn't always dense and craggy. Tunes like "Earthquakes Come Home" have hooks worthy of Badfinger or the Raspberries. And "No Rm. 9, Kentucky" starts out as a light pop ballad before mutating into a welter of searing guitar. Pony Express Record even features a Led Zeppelin-esque cover of Atlanta Rhythm Section's sultry late-70s hit "So Into You." Shudder to Think convincingly makes the case that you haven't heard it all before. Thursday, December 8, 7 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark; 549-0203.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Danny Clinch.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Rick Reger

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Duck and Cover Classroom The Time Gallery
August 10
Performing Arts
Manic Mondays Frances Cocktail Lounge
November 20

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories