After some time off, the four original members of American Steel decided to re-activate the band and hit the studio with their first release in nearly six years, Destroy Their Future, slated for an Oct. 2 release on Fat Wreck Chords. While many of their peers splinter into sub-genres, AS soaks in influences ranging from East Bay punk, Irish music, and modern rock (unsurprisingly, they cite The Clash as one of their most influential mentors.) Sometimes hitting hard like on opening track “Sons of Avarice” before transitioning to a more stripped-down feel on “Dead and Gone” and “Or, Don’t You Remember?”, the output of American Steel’s sound — as it did with earlier albums like Untitled (1998) and Rouge’s March and Jagged Thoughts (2001) — varies with a rather bipolar spectrum. Sometimes heavy, bombastic and dark while at other times more complex, melodic and rather soulful, theirs is a punk that would make The Clash proud. (Appearing with The Lawrence Arms, Falcon and Sundowner at Metro on Oct. 11) –text: Jyn Radakovits
Stone Cold, The Rock, Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Perhaps wrestlers understand nomenclature better than many of us. At least better than many bands, whose names don’t often shout — let alone whisper — much about their music, thus canceling out much of our expectations. But once in a while a name will offer the listener some dots to connect, and then it’s all a matter of interpretation. There’s a lot to interpret when a band decides to call itself The A-Sides, as more than one meaning may arise and possibly be misconstrued. Either way, the band seems like they’re doing their best to write songs that paraphrase The Beach Boys and Anniversary’s Your Majesty. They recently released Silver Storms, their second full-length, so feel free to check them out and decide if the music lives up to the nomenclature. (Appearing with Ted Leo & the Pharmacists and The Eternals at Metro on Oct. 12) –text: Zak Stawski–photo: Shawn Brackbill
Any “Grey’s Anatomy” fan’s heart will go soft as Brandi Carlile’s “The Story” plays out, recalling the video montage artfully arranged to the title track off her second album. Three more of Carlile’s songs off The Story were featured in the popular medical drama, launching her music into the epicenter of a pop culture phenomenon. The folksy female from Seattle and her band of merry men (twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth) hit VH1’s number five spot and made their mark on the “Hot 100 in 2007”, making Meredith and McSteamy worshipers weep. The Story brings raw emotion and a sense of vulnerability set to vocals that tear through a sweet and simple lullaby. Carlile’s now-infamous tonal crack in the chorus came out accidentally and has been described by the singer as being “technically wrong but emotionally right.” (Appearing with A Fine Frenzy at House of Blues on Oct. 11 & 12) –text: Angela Schiappacasse–photo: Jennifer Tzar
THE GO! TEAM
Even with six band members, The Go! Team seems to produce music bigger than the sum of their parts every time they touch their instruments. The Brighton, England band released their first album Get It Together in 2000, but it wasn’t till their 2004 record Thunder Lightning Strike (Memphis Industries) that the band garnered any attention. Built around chants and catchy tape loops, The Go! Team organizes a somewhat old school sound into hip-hop funk songs — with lead singer Ninja packing more energy during their intense live shows than any drug combination. Despite the miasma of sound and catchy dream beats and chants, the band still emits an unpolished, primal and visceral sound that is sure to leave its musical footprint in your ears. The band’s new album, Proof of Youth (on new label Sub Pop) also features a cover of Sonic Youth’s “Bull in the Heather.” (Appearing with The Cool Kids at Double Door on Oct. 13) –text: James H. Ewert Jr.