Jimi Hendrix once famously said,”You’ll never hear surf music again,” presumably meaning that his brand of blisteringly complex guitar-god rock would put an end to twangy California valentines forever. You have to wonder what he would’ve made of the mongrel genius of the twenty-first century, and of the nascent genre known as dark surf. If that’s a new term to you, all the more reason to check out the collaboration by garage-punk guru John Reis and the Minneapolis trio The Blind Shake, who are coming to town to support their new album, “Modern Surf Classics.” This is dense, muscular, high-velocity stuff, with multiple guitars crashing through rolling, nasal-inflected hooks—like the surf music you grew up with, after washing down steroids with a twelve-pack of Red Bull. The material wears its influences both nakedly and wittily; the brief spoken-word intro to “Beach Leech” recalls the similar lead-in to The Surfaris’ 1963 hit “Wipeout,” replacing the older tune’s maniacal cackle with an agonized groan. Yet there’s also depth and shade to this music; the album’s first single, “Brown Room,” has a haunting, arms-length air of foreboding; and even a hard-driving, ride-the-goddamn-waves-already number like “Kooks On the Face” goes all ominous and widescreen at the bridge. The band’s not afraid of dissonance or atonality; in fact this is that rare brand of party music that bears listening to long after the party’s over. But don’t cheat yourself; hit the party first. Also on the bill: Brokeback, The Bingers and DJ Tall Pat. (Robert Rodi)
February 21 at The Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western, (773)276-3600. $12, $14 DOS.
Robert Rodi is an author, spoken-word performer and musician who has served as Newcity’s Music Editor since 2014. He’s written more than a dozen books, including the travel memoir “Seven Seasons In Siena.” His jazz quintet recently completed a two-year residency at Uncommon Ground, and he regularly hosts a jazz singers’ jam at Lizard’s Liquid Lounge. His literary and music criticism has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Huffington Post and many other national and regional publications.