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August Burns Red 

When: Wed., Feb. 22 2012
When an underground sound hits the mainstream, chances are its freshness will dissipate once trend-hoppers try to exploit it for commercial gain. Just ask fans of metalcore, a once-exciting hybrid of metal, hardcore, and screamo that’s now beyond stale thanks to the carbon-copy-of-a-carbon-copy acts who’ve dumbed down the genre. Still, some bands are elevating the sound beyond knuckle-dragging inanity -- like August Burns Red, who are the kings of credible shred and scream. Formed in 2003, the Christian-leaning Pennsylvania quintet rises above the masses in part thanks to sheer talent. Guitarist JB Brubaker is one of the best thrashers out there, while drummer Matt Greiner is a force behind the kit and singer Jake Luhrs screeches like a hardcore hesher. But their distaste for gimmicky moves and cheesy grandstanding also sets them apart. Last year’s Leveler features grinding jackhammer riffage and moody dynamics, revealing the band’s firm commitment to no-bullshit sonic precision. With Silverstein, Texas in July, and I the Breather. 7:15 p.m. Tickets: $20, $18 in advance. – Annie Zaleski

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