Wolf Eyes | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Wolf Eyes 

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Whenever the Detroit trio Wolf Eyes comes to town, you can count on prismatic layers of art-damaged bleating, plop-stomp from cheap drum machines, calliopelike feedback, and tortured lyrics delivered with Wizard of Oz-style grandiosity--all processed through reams of distortion and delay. Since 1997 Aaron Dilloway and Nate Young have been coaxing obsessively dark noises from all kinds of equipment--from out of the mysterious black suitcases they haul onstage they've produced oscillators, reel-to-reel machines, a horn modified with pickups, and recircuited Casios. But when peripheral member John Olson signed on full-time two years ago the group's compositional mind-set changed. Before, their malformed pops, clicks, and squeals flapped and skittered across loose grids, colliding only once in a while; on last year's releases, Dread (Bulb) and Dead Hills (Troubleman), their soundscapes are overpopulated with hideous noises looped into hellish cries of war. And though each listening experience causes a certain amount of pain, you never know if it'll be so grating you'll end up with a headache or so beautiful you'll want to die. Thursday, March 13, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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

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