Shock Treatment

Underground rockers get a new West Side retreat.

The Chosen Jewish Community Center's Halle Theatre, 3505 Mayfield Road, Cleveland Heights Through March 30, 216-382-4000.
Macy Gray at her March 16 Odeon show. - Walter  Novak
Macy Gray at her March 16 Odeon show.

Ever since the free-form art/music collective Speak in Tongues was silenced early last year, Cleveland's been woefully lacking in the department of gritty, anything-goes spots that cater to the underground. But thanks to Ray Terry, frontman for Cleveland hardcore ragers Allergic to Whores, the void's about to be filled. With help from his brother and bandmates, Terry is opening Toxic Shock, a new basement venue on the West Side that will cater to up-and-coming locals as well as smaller national touring bands.

"I definitely have no problems with the clubs around here, but for some underground bands, they need more of a house/basement show, 'cause we've been on tour a bunch, and I know that when we go to play those shows, those are some of the best," Terry explains. "I think Cleveland needs a place like this."

We couldn't agree more. While the Cleveland club scene has long been one of the finest in the Midwest, it's been starved for an intimate DIY space like Toxic Shock, where there's no separation between bands and audience, admission is always cheap, and even the most uncommercial acts have a home. Doubling as Allergic to Whores' residence and practice space, the venue should hold upwards of a couple hundred people, Terry says. Shows will be all-ages, and admission is a standard $2. The club's launch is slated for March 26, with an impressive bill headlined by Disengage and the Whores themselves.

The only potential snag: too much noise for the neighbors. Toxic Shock sits in a residential neighborhood (at 27250 Bagley Road).

"We practice here every night until about six in the morning, so I can't see it being a problem," Terry says. "We're going to tell people to stay inside, and it should be fine -- as long as people don't do any vandalism outside and act ridiculous. I hope everybody is able to respect the place."

When you're hot, you're hot: Chimaira recently had to halt production on its new video for the song "Down Again" when the L.A. studio where the band and director Paul Brown were lensing the clip caught fire. Chimaira was set to play inside a wall of gauze, when the gauze inexplicably ignited. No one was injured.

In other news, Chimaira has announced a tour in support of its upcoming album, The Impossibility of Reason, which is due in May. The band will hit the road in April with Virginian avant-thrashers Lamb of God and California metalcore favorites Eighteen Visions and Atreyu.

Cleveland-area singer-songwriter Zach has signed a distribution deal with Cleveland's Undercover Records. The promising popster was just named Best Pop/Rock Act at the Cleveland Music Fest for the third straight year.

Viking rap metallers Norse Law have inked a deal with Cleveland's Latticesphere Records. The band, which offers a blend of racing black-metal guitars and growled rhymes, will hold a CD release party for its debut, Raids and Rhymes, this Friday at the Phantasy Nite Club.

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