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By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 4, 2010 4:40PM

Photo by Kirstie Shanley

Soft Speaker can veer into folksy territory bordering on alt-country and that's pleasant enough. But when they turn up the volume until it creeps on the edges of distortion and urges the rhythms towards a gallop the band blossoms. Their earlier track "Mercury Park" was not only one of our favorite local songs f the last year, it made it onto our best songs of 2009 list with its Dinosaur Jr guitars being kept under control by a rich, honeyed tenor vocal delivery.

Their new EP isn't being released until later this month but here's a taste of what you can expect from the band in 2010. "Marble Mask" masks the tension of the band's better earlier work in a slightly subtler sound with results we find pleasingly expansive. If you dig the track, check the band out tonight when they play a free show at Double Door.

MP3: Soft Speaker "Marble Mask"

Soft Speaker plays Bitter Wigs, Dorian Taj, and The Ragtones tonight, February 4, at Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee, 9 p.m., FREE, 21+