Two Piece Fest Midwest: Slingshot Dakota, +HIRS+, Solids, the Funs, Ryley Walker & Ben Billington, Peter & Craig, Coma Regalia, Minimum Wage Assassins, Radiation Blackbody, and others | ChiTown Futbol | Fairs & Festivals | Chicago Reader
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Two Piece Fest Midwest: Slingshot Dakota, +HIRS+, Solids, the Funs, Ryley Walker & Ben Billington, Peter & Craig, Coma Regalia, Minimum Wage Assassins, Radiation Blackbody, and others 

When: Sat., Feb. 21, 2 p.m. 2015
Price: $10
In 2010 drummer Joel Stallings and bassist Joshua Scott, the rhythm section of now defunct New York death-grind band Defeatist, began performing as an instrumental duo called Radiation Blackbody. If you ask me, too many bands already sound like Defeatist, so I’d consider this an improvement just on principle—but thankfully it’s also an improvement in reality. Stallings and Scott have burst the shackles of 4/4 time, so that their hurtling, acrobatic riffs and bitten-off blastbeats change direction suddenly enough to slap the side of your head into the passenger window—and best of all, you don’t have to listen past some screaming dude to hear the interesting bits. They’re traveling with a brand-new EP, Maximum Entropy and the Nearly Black Object, recorded by Stallings and released by Nerve Altar, the one-man label run by their former Defeatist bandmate Aaron Nichols; for those of you new to the group, though, their sawing, spattering rumble is better served by the 2014 LP Falling to Death Through Time and Space, which was given a clearer, more muscular studio treatment by math-metal wizard Colin Marston (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia, Krallice, Behold the Arctopus). If you can imagine Japanese punk-prog duo Ruins exposed to the vacuum of space, so that their occasional daffy triumphalism and histrionic, demented singing boiled away into the icy emptiness, what remained would sound a lot like Radiation Blackbody—alienated and alienating, cryptic and lightless, a deft assault on multiple fronts with no accompanying demands. The band is one of 22 acts performing at the second Two Piece Fest Midwest; I also recommend Hirs, a hilariously confrontational Philadelphia grind duo with the slogan "Looks like hell / Sounds like shit / Queer as fuck." —Philip Montoro

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