Friday, August 19, 2011

Show preview: Warm Ones, Volcanoes Make Islands, Chew Heart at Subterranean 8/20

By Sasha Geffen

Warm Ones
Recently it's come to my attention that the only second floor music venue I can think of is also the only one called Subterranean. I didn't even figure it out on my own; as we were walking up to the cabaret room to catch some head-melting doom metal, a friend of mine quipped, "wait, so it's called Subterranean and we're going upstairs?" The name modifies the music, not the location, I guess. Or maybe it's ironic. Either way, I've never seen a single disappointing lineup there. Dudes can book a set. I have had many an act blow my mind and become an instant local favorite upon rocking that stage. This Saturday's show promises to further that record.

Local duo Chew Heart will open up with their twangy, stomping indie pop. Singer Laura Granlund echoes Neko Case's timbre at times as she lays down vocals atop a hard-edged blend of grainy guitar and synth accents. The swirling guitar-rock of Volcanoes Make Islands will be up next. I dug their 2010 EP Sick City pretty hard and I hear they'll be debuting some new tracks from their upcoming full-length at the show. 

Headliners Warm Ones, meanwhile, have cultivated their own brand of pop-punk--and I don't mean that in the sense of the plastic, airless junk that corroded the airwaves in the '90s. I mean they've got equal grip on melodic craft and chaos, wielding each with impressive dexterity. They know you don't have to sacrifice muscle to build a perfect chorus. Vocals swoop in and out of lo-fi guitar storms in an absurdly addictive mix of sound. Check out the enormous track "GSS" off of their album Sprezzatura to see what I'm talking about.

Tickets are $10 and available here. Doors at 9pm, show at 9:30, 21+.


  1. Warm Ones really is a great band. We saw them live - many of their songs remind me of Smoking Popes for some reason. I told the singer and he said lots of people have told him that but he's never actually heard their music. - Paul

  2. Yeah, Warm Ones are one of my personal Chicago favorites, Paul. I hadn't thought of the Smoking Popes connection, but now that you mention it I can hear it!