Brant Bjork and the Bros.

With Madman Mundt and Obelisk. Saturday, March 20, at the Grog Shop (late show, begins at 11 p.m.).

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Taking Lives
Brant Bjork, former/sometime drummer for Kyuss and Fu Manchu, is a walking totem of seemingly effortless rock cool. His three solo albums are packed with concise riffage and slightly loopy lyrics. On those discs, he plays everything as Prince would, if Prince were a pothead who limited himself to two-chord tributes to '70s skate culture and bemused ennui.

A few years ago, Bjork formed the band Ché. Its one album, Sounds of Revolution, was even better than the solo stuff; Bjork had built his very own Thin Lizzy-style boogie machine. Shame they never made another one.

Bjork's latest, Keep Your Cool, is hilariously relaxed. It's less new wave than his last disc, Brant Bjork and the Operators, which occasionally sounded like the Cars ripped on bong hits. He's limited himself to guitars, bass, drums, and occasional congas (as on the ridiculous album opener, "Hey, Monkey Boy"). For the tour, he's hired a guitarist and is bringing along former Queens of the Stone Age loon Nick Oliveri on bass, but he's likely to handle the vocals himself. So skate on down to the gig, if for no other reason than that bands with singing drummers are always worth seeing.

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