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Free Punk Showcase Tonight At Empty Bottle Will Feature 4 Local Bands

By Casey Moffitt in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 10, 2015 6:30PM

Le Tour photo credit: Aaron Ehinger

The local punk scene is pretty healthy and if you don't believe us, check out a free show at the Empty Bottle tonight to get a taste of what Chicago rockers are serving up.

Berserk Records, the label from the northwest suburbs, is hosting a showcase with four local bands on its roster celebrating three different releases.

Le Tour will debut its first LP, Terra Eyes, which starts off easy with a jangly, new wave guitar lick and a solid melody which gives way to an anxious rhythm. Most of the album follows this recipe, but Le Tour can get dirty and nasty, too on this album and rev up the rhythm into overdrive.

There is some pretty interesting guitar picking on this records, and some very cool drumming. The drumming is tricky and crafty, especially in hi-hat and toms play.

Rat Hammer / Absolutely Not split LP cover
Absolutely Not and Rat Hammer are joining forces to release a split LP, with one side not straying too far from the other, but each band has its own distinct style.

Absolutely Not has a much more urgent and anxiety-ridden riffs. It's quick, bright and punchy with no frills. If a song stretches to two and half minutes, that's going to be too long for Absolutely Not. Rarely do they dip into pop territory, but when they do, they can pull it off without sounding too sugary.

Rat Hammer provides a nice foil on the split, as this band is full of bile and vinegar. They come right out and punch you in the mouth with ugly, driving guitars and a fierce pounding rhythm section. Like Absolutely Not, Rat Hammer is wildly efficient machine, wasting little time with games or filler with their angst anthems.

Swimsuit Addition rounds out the bill with their own new release. Their grimy surf tunes are not for the pretty models you see in Hollywood's version of a beach party. No, their songs are for those who have to suffer through long cold winters before making it to hot, sunny days, preventing them from having the rock-hard beach bodies. That doesn't mean they can't have as much fun as anybody else, they just aren't glamorous enough to be featured on a silver screen.

So have no fear, Chicago rock is still alive and kicking. If you're in a fix for rock 'n' roll Monday night party, take in these bands for a little solace in knowing that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local rock.

Le Tour, Absolutely Not, Rat Hammer and Swimsuit Addition perform tonight, Aug. 10th, at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., 9 p.m. FREE, 21+