Tip of the Week


The number of hard-edged, underground, woman-fronted Bay Area bands hitting Chicago is getting out of hand. The saving grace: most of the bands are good, great even. Ain't falls into the latter category. The band's most recent release, "If it's Illegal to Rock and Roll Then Throw My Ass in Jail" (Gluttony), impresses on two levels. Lead singer Laurian (just one name) has a voice made for singing rock, metal and hard blues -- heavier than an anvil, with a melodic ability and range that cuts that Vedder guy down to size. But Ain't isn't a voice-only band. The music behind Laurian rocks like a volcano with a grudge against the world. Throughout varying speeds and tempos and stylistic shifts, the band maintains an absolutely hard-rock edge that shines during transitions and timing breaks. No fewer than six songs on the record find Ain't blasting havoc at a hardcore pace, only to shift speed direction on a dime into a slow crunch or metallic rockabilly. No doubt some credit goes to master rock/grunge visionary and record producer Jack Endino -- he brings out the best in young bands. But he doesn't get all the credit: Ain't's wall of sound and Laurian's voice should collapse the Fireside's walls.

Ain't plays October 12 at the Fireside Bowl, 2648 West Fullerton, 773.486.2700. (Dave Chamberlain)



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