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Nightcrawler

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Sorrytown. Reverbed-out guitars eviscerate silence. "Go away," a dude urges, but the song drones on, jagged and un-attenuated, a relentless aural disaster. Sorrytown lifts the corners of the polite straight world and reveals the skittering, frenetic bugs underneath. "Everyone you know is somewhere you could never go," Simeon Beardsley exhales, like Built to Spill sans tidy deductions. Heavy drums and bass push tunes forward, headlong into uncertainty, demanding to "know." Then the answer comes—sonic booms and cathartic bass waves. There is no inner narrator, only a vast noisy void. "We have no reason to speak." Heavy primal fucking and alienation ensue. If Reznor routinely dips a toe in this black pool, Sorrytown is a headfirst dive into the abyss. This is bleak and mighty and could only hail from the forsaken Las Cruces desert. With The Big Bad, Medvedi and Her Mana on Saturday, August 18. Cans Deli, 340 N. Fourth Ave. 8 p.m. $5. 21+. —B.S. Eliot

Interfate. Phoenix is a hard, hot and shitty place to live and the boys of Interfate are nothing if not a product of their environment. The word "alone" is often purged from within, reinforced by the crash of a five-cymbal kit, pinned down by chest-crushing bass lines and shot through with whiplash guitars. "Our fates are intertwined." The trio rails against confinement of the impoverished living under wide open skies, the loneliness of a burned lover forced to mill amidst millions of strangers, only wanting The One. More emo than angry, vocalist J-Money manages to find nuance in his belted outcries for help, and though there's no new musical ground here, the band is dynamic enough to avoid whiffs of suburban generic. This is windows-down, sun-blazing, Red Bull-fueled gestalt that those turned off by plastic consumptive tripe will feel—head back, mouth open, fists pumping. Sunday, August 19 at House of Bards, 4915 E. Speedway Blvd. 7:30 p.m. 21+. —B.S. Eliot

The Smokescreens are cursed with seeing through life's bullshit (which, really, is the true definition of cool.) Whether envying happy-go-lucky fools who "never ever feel blue" or kicking around with "nothing to do," they don't allow themselves wishes because those "never come true." Ah, but their cynicism is lushly enveloped in fuzzy layers of ear-bending descending guitar. Lest the listener gets too passive and comfy, a driving backbeat kicks in, forever opening eyes to the flawed, decaying world. Like the Velvet's "I'll Be Your Mirror," but without sexual placation, Chris Rosi's slightly flat vocals still manage to help stave off lonely blues. The Smokescreens' blend of obscure kiwi pop and New York art rock offers an impassioned appeal to realists—the world might suck but we've all got to live here anyway. The LA-based New Zealand-born quartet wisely swerves from clever-clever land into a realm of jaded acceptance—these are the letdown musings of a bunch of romantics. With the Molochs on Tuesday, August 21. Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St. 8 p.m. Free. 21+. —B.S. Eliot

The Alarm was to Wales what U2 is to Ireland—playing off the epic rock band bit, embedded with and reflective of the cultural signifiers of its homeland. Try hard and you can't fault the earnestness of The Serious Young Men. Quick backstory: founded four decades ago as punk band The Toilets, The Alarm quickly wove lotsa Clash into their songwriting, the Mick Jones-y guitars, the Joe Strummer sloganeering, the anthemic boot-stomp hooks and fist-jack vocal melodies. So they weren't the first to pen the singsong punk-inspired antehem, still, they were really good at it. Founding frontman Mike Peters has lived his adult life on the road, and the resulting rambles, built upon a workingman's love and losses—always with a singsong anthem in his big old ear—as varied and well-worn as The Boss. Now, Peters is re-imagining The Alarm's early work, updating the 1984's mighty song-driven Declaration for tenderer ears. (We can't forget their Brit chart-topper, "Sixty-Eight Guns," and the fantastic "Marching On," two songs The Clash absolutely wished they wrote. And here's hoping they whip out the later, and unironically brilliant, "Rain in the Summertime"). Recent live shows prove that post-cancer, Peter's voice stays strong, filled of youthful passion. And the tour contains unsung guitar hero James Stevenson (Chelsea, Gen X, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cult). We ain't ageists around here and The Alarm remains a band worthy of (re)discovery. In fact, the heavy new album Equals is highly recommended too; it's absolutely ageless. With The Rifle on Wednesday, August, 22. 191 Toole, Doors at 7 p.m. $24. 21+. —B.S. Eliot

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