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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Young Widows

Posted By on Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Um, yeah
  • Um, yeah

Young Widows may call Louisville home, but one listen to the band’s noise-rock discography will surely bring Chicago to mind. For starter, you can hear shades of the Jesus Lizard in the way guitarist Evan Patterson abuses his instrument. The noises he strangles from his guitar are sharp and dissonant cries for help — mangled, clipped, and damaged. Patterson never goes for the expected, but he seems intent on attacking each song from a stealthy musical angle. His vocals recall Shellac’s Steve Albini — incensed but wry, like he’s mad and has already cooked up some sort of revenge. But Young Widows aren’t all pissy. They also sound grimy in an art-house kinda way. Bridges and breakdowns drift into psych-rock territory, as guitars moan and rhythms pulsate. This is where the band’s rhythm section shines. Bassist Nick Thieneman’s tone is massive and sultry, all power and sleaze that pushes songs to explosive climaxes or locks them into a hypnotic sway. Drummer Jeremy McMonigle holds things steady whenever Patterson runs wild, or he simply obliterates tracks with his loose-limbed pounding. But don’t let all these comparisons mislead you. Young Widows not only evoke classic Chicago noise-rockers, they deserve a place next to them. Young Widows, with Helms Alee and Wreck Havoc!, play the Grog Shop at 9 p.m. Tickets: $8. —Matt Whelihan

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