Sic Alps, Azita, the Funs | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Sic Alps, Azita, the Funs Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., Oct. 18, 9:30 p.m. 2012
Price: $8
Considering how ragged San Francisco's Sic Alps have always sounded, it's a bit of a shock to hear a string quartet gilding the grotty ballad "Glyphs," which opens their new self-titled album for Drag City. There's something appealingly absurd about its halting, sloppy groove and occasional in-the-red guitar outburst butting up against the stately strings—the band almost seems to be daring folks to call them sophisticated. I wouldn't go that far, but it's true that Sic Alps—now a four-piece—have been cleaning up their act lately, dispensing with the raw fragments and free-form freak-outs that clogged their earliest recordings. The new album's hooky tunes push them into the realm of fellow Bay Area garage-rock maximalist Ty Segall, albeit with less snarl and more of the spaced-out folk-rock of Skip Spence. Thankfully the music is still plenty snotty and immediate—despite the sharper songwriting, more ambitious arrangements, and more committed singing, Sic Alps sound as charmingly haphazard as ever. —Peter Margasak Azita and the Funs open.

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