Sounds | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Swedish alt-pop band the Sounds are fronted by a hot blond singer and mix their keyboards front and center, which is why nearly every story about them mentions Blondie. But the comparisons are weak: the Sounds' choruses are too big, their guitar sound too anthemic, and if you caught the band sweating through any of the hundreds of TV appearances they made while promoting their first record, Living in America, you know they don't share Blondie's cool-ass detachment. What they're actually working is Pat Benatar's turf, but because the group had the genius idea of dressing up 80s arena rock in CBGB drag, no one seems to have noticed. Check out "Night After Night" on their newest, Dying to Say This to You (New Line)--it's a fucking straight-up piano power ballad. It'd also be my favorite song on the record if half the other tracks weren't right up there with it: "24 Hours" is good for its schoolyard-sounding melody, "Song With a Mission" tries so hard to be "Gimme Shelter" it's endearing, and "Ego" has great, confusing ESL lyrics ("I've been doing someone that you know / it's not a secret to me anymore"). When the songs are this huge, you don't need to understand the words to get the point. Morningwood and Action Action open. Thu 4/20, 6 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $16. All ages.

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