The Mooney Suzuki | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Mooney Suzuki 

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We've all seen kids like the Mooney Suzuki, a quartet of garage-rock classicists from the East Village. They wear black turtlenecks in the middle of July and dark glasses at midnight, and they worship at the chrome altar of the MC5, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, and the Music Machine. There's something enormously endearing about their devotion to the old ways--kind of like the Amish. But their self-titled, self-released, self-promoted EP rocks so hard that you may actually find yourself buying into their cult of teenage cool. The opening track, "And Begin," is a thunderclap of power chords and eighth-grade blues licks that fizzles into feedback after about 75 seconds. "I Say I Love You" rides a jagged minor-seventh chord and chanted chorus for just over two minutes, punctuated by Will Rockwell's antsy drumrolls and lead guitarist Graham Tyler's crude, furious solo. "My Dear Persephone" is a spooky love groove with a burbling Fender Rhodes break. By the time the Suzuki reach the end of their 15-minute rope, with the brutal "Turn My Blue Sky Black" and "Love Is a Gentle Whip," they're already recycling licks from the first track. But who cares? For all its energy, this is a genre that thrives on ritual, not rebellion. The band has played nearly a hundred shows since 1998, mostly on the east coast, and recently trekked down to Austin to record their first full-length album with Texas punk legend Tim Kerr (who's produced, among others, the Makers and the Delta 72). It's due out on Estrus Records in September. The Rondelles (see Spot Check) headline. Friday, 10 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700. J.R. JONES

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