A beast of a bill with four charming, impressive and intelligent local rock bands, this show offers a good indication of what 2007 was like in Chicago rock, a nice button on a big year—bigger for some than others—for these bands. Office released its “A Night at the Ritz” on Scratchie/New Line records, a stirring collection of danceable indie-pop—some of it previously released—that’s both bouncy and, at times, introspective. (The band also popped the MTV bubble, just recently appearing as a “Band to Watch” on MTV News.) Local Velvet Underground-esque throwback popsters The 1900s released their debut full-length, “Cold & Kind,” an infectious bundle of emotional depth and dedicated charisma (live, the band’s fantastic). Indie-slackers The Narrator ripped through with “All That to The Wall” in May (on Flameshovel), and it’s the band’s most focused effort to date, a crunchy and loud escape into a lovely madness. Mannequin Men round out the bill; the snotty and recklessly assembled “Fresh Rot” was released via Flameshovel this past fall. Taking cues from The Wipers and maybe even a bit of the louder Stones, the aggressive onslaught of “Fresh Rot” leaves the taste of booze in your mouth (it might be my favorite local record of the year). Don’t miss this show—it’s sure to be fun. (Tom Lynch)
Office, The 1900s, The Narrator and Mannequin Men play December 21 at Metro, 3730 North Clark, (773)549-0203, at 9pm. $10.