Tonight in Chicago at the Empty Bottle (1035 N. Western Ave.) Chicago's own Midstates will hold a CD release party for their new album Boxing Twilight. The disc was recorded in the band's home studio, and melds layers of guitar buzz with twinkling plinks of keyboards and synthesizer washes – sort of like Ride meets Gary Numan. For more information and song samples from Boxing Twilight (as well their version of Pink Floyd's “Echoes”), check their Web site at http://midstatesmusic.com.

Columbia's Legacy arm has reissued Santana 's 1971 album Santana III along with a bonus disc containing a 1971 concert from the band taped at the Fillmore East.

Mott the Hoople

The label has also unearthed two early ‘70s classics from Mott the Hoople , Ian Hunter's seminal glam rock band. The 1972 album All the Young Dudes was produced by a young David Bowie, and includes the breakthrough Bowie-penned title track, as well as their cover of Lou Reed's “Sweet Jane” and an early version of “Ready For Love,” a song that Mott guitarist Mick Ralphs wrote and later rerecorded as a hit for his next band, Bad Company. Mott the Hoople's 1973 album, Mott has also been reissued, with songs like All the Way from Memphis” and “Honaloochie Boogie.” Both discs feature bonus live tracks and demo recordings from the early ‘70s.

Warner Bros. has gotten into the reissue act as well, offering two classic ZZ Top albums, 1973's Tres Hombres and 1975's Fandango! on CD, each with three bonus tracks of the albums' key songs recorded live. These two discs served up some of ZZ Top's most well-known early alchemy of blues, boogie and rock ‘n' roll – “Tush,” “Waiting For the Bus,” “La Grange,” and “Jesus Just Left Chicago.”

 

 

She Wants Revenge

She Wants Revenge
She Wants Revenge
(Flawless/Geffen)
1/2


The goth scene hasn't had a major label flag-bearer of classic dark rock in a long time. Indie bands like Cruxshadows and Black Tape for a Blue Girl have garnered cult audiences, but not mass acceptance. She Wants Revenge would love to change all that. They want to be as big as Depeche Mode.

The duo behind SWR are two DJs who must have played an awful lot of Joy Division, Bauhaus, Interpol and more in their tenure. Their debut CD steals from all of those dramatically darkwave acts, usually to good, if sometimes overly calculated effect. The sinister strut of “Out of Control” is a standout track, and has been garnering lots of play. It's a perfect club track, and even includes a lyric about being “slaves to the DJ.”

Peter Hook's basslines (Joy Division, New Order) seem to be the key influence behind a lot of SWR's rhythms. They also mimic the Cure's lazy guitar sound quite niftily on “Someone Must Get Hurt,” and the opening keyboards to “These Things” sound like vintage Peter Murphy. Filled with retro-sounding synthesizers, throbbing chiming guitars and mechanical ‘80s drum machines, “She Wants Revenge” listens like a lost alternative club album from 1985.

Fans of the goth bands that created a black-clad subculture in the ‘80s will both love and hate this disc. Those who are loyal to their ‘80s bands will say that SWR are a couple of ripoff artists just aping the sound of yore. And those who just love the “sound” will welcome this as an album answering all of their gloomy but danceable musical cravings.

Singer Justin Warfield has that coldly emotionless droning vocal delivery that made Joy Division and Bauhaus sound so dark and mysterious. But the band pairs that dark vibe with throbbing bass plucks and always upbeat rhythms, making them sound far more “pop” oriented than their influences ever were. This disc listens like Dead Or Alive's “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” 20 years later.

Warfield tries to be “dangerous” lyrically, growling bitterly (and with lots of reverb) about sexual frustrations and wanting to “tear you apart” on one song (a homage to Joy Division's “Love Will Tear Us Apart”?) and offers strangely memorable if, at the same time, humorously pretentious lyrics like “Her every word was in italics/as it would fall from her lips/the walls made of broken promises/he hoped this wouldn't be his” (from “Sister”) and “you can occupy my every sigh/you can rent the space inside my mind/at least until the price becomes too high” (from “Red Flags and Long Nights”).

My first reaction to the CD was that it was a goth parody…but after a couple of listens, it sucked me in until I was cheerfully singing along with most of its gloomy love-gone-wrong tracks.

For more information, check www.shewantsrevenge.com .