The League of Proper MusiciansThe League of Proper Musicians
Occasionally backed by a group of singers called the Tickle Up the Butt Choir, local jam band the League of Proper Musicians sounds particularly boisterous on this groove-oriented disc (which was recorded at Akron's Smiley Sound Studios). The jumpy "Make It So Hard" sounds like 311, and the opening "Mr. Rectid Anger" captures Primus's madcap energy. Through it all, stellar musicianship holds it together, especially when the band busts out a terrific jam ("Strokin' the Pocket") or steers into epic Faith No More territory ("Stand Up"). — Jeff Niesel
(La Rock Inc.)
Formerly half of the rap duo Mush Mouth, Johnny La Rock is now the driving force behind Presque Vu. With help from friends Furface and Chrismick, the group's full-length debut is a mellow meditation on heartache that flows from trip-hop to post-hip-hop. Rough but affecting, Capgras plays like cool UNKLE demos. In "False Hope (This Doesn't Mean I'm Your Girlfriend Again)," a retro drum-machine beat overlaps a synthesized bass line that sounds like a sample from a lost Depeche Mode song. Over an arsenal of no-frills keyboards, La Rock struggles to find happy thoughts. "Summer Fridays" lapses from spoken-word into melodic surrender: "I'm always gonna be strange/I'm never gonna fit in/But I'm not gonna give in." The worse La Rock feels, the better Capgras sounds. — D.X. Ferris
Presque Vu with Phantogram and Light Pollution. 9 p.m. Monday, May 17. Grog Shop. Tickets: $8 advance, $10 day of show; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.