Upcoming Concert Reviews of Artimus Pyledriver, Maps and More...

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Artimus Pyledriver

Artimus Pyledriver with DevilDriver, Bury Your Dead, Remembering Never and If Hope Dies

Friday · Bogart's

When Charlie Daniels said the South was gonna do it again, you can bet he didn't have this shit in mind. Formed in Atlanta, named after Lynyrd Skynyrd's hammer-and-tong drummer and influenced by the Blacks (Sabbath and Flag), Artimus Pyledriver takes the Southern boogie band stereotype, feeds it into their Hardcore/Metal/Hard Rock meat grinder and serves it loud and raw at the other end.

AP came together in 2001 when vocalist Dave Slocum (whose blood-curdling shriek makes Bon Scott sound like Justin Timberlake) and guitarist Jimmy Hall decided to get together after gigging Atlanta with a succession of Hardcore/Doom Metal bands over the previous decade. Bassist Michael Faulkner and guitarist Damon Goldsmith entered the ranks in 2002 and drummer Travis Owen completed the current line-up the following year.

Things heated up for AP when Slocum passed demos to Dez Fafara, formerly with Coal Chamber and now with DevilDriver, leading to a deal with DRT Entertainment. Artimus Pyledriver's eponymous debut blends traditional Southern Rock anthemics, thunderous Stoner riffage, Metal volume and Hardcore energy into a slab of pure unadulterated Rock that celebrates the holy trinity of Southern life: cars, babes and living large.

Artimus Pyledriver keeps things loud and lean like their contemporaries, and they play twin guitars that roar like the three-guitar attacks of their inspirational forefathers. Artimus Pyledriver doesn't just flirt with disaster, they knock it up and brag about it to their buddies at the bar. (Brian Baker)

Maps and Atlases

Sunday · The Mad Hatter

Progressive quartet Maps and Atlases is a "Chicago band" in the sense that the Windy City is their current base of operations. Most of the band members might have used actual maps and atlases to get to Chi-Town — bassist Shiraz Dada is a legit Chicagoan, but drummer Chris Hainey hails from Texas, singer/guitarist Dave Davison is from Indiana and guitarist Erin Elders was raised in Hawaii.

The geographical separateness of their upbringings is indicative of Maps and Atlases' sound, a frenzied, open-ended blast of eccentric melodies, topsy-turvy song structures and clusterfuck arrangements that, while harmonious, occasionally sound like each member is playing a different song. The band is almost Jazz-like in their sonics, as the guitars compulsively spout high-wire arpeggio bursts (think Robert Fripp with Tourette's of the hands, jamming with the Minutemen) and the bass and drums ignite like a graceful but explosively choreographed fireworks display. Together since only 2004, the band already has the extrasensory interconnection of musicians who have played with each other for decades.

Despite the impulsive playing, the band's debut release, the seven-track Tree, Swallows, Houses isn't the sound of chaos. The band knows what its doing with every note. Though it sounds complex on the surface, Davison's relatively direct singing and the air-tightness of the members' playing make for a seamless listen, something fans of Math Rock, Prog, Post Punk and the more adventurous end of the Indie Rock and Jazz spectrums can enjoy. (Mike Breen)

U-Melt with fathead

Tuesday · Stanley's Pub

Fathead is opening this early-week show featuring on-the-rise Jam quartet U-Melt. But even without an opener, the band would have plenty of music to fill out the night. Tales of U-Melt's lengthy sets are the stuff of legend, particularly their 2004 performance at Strangefolk's Garden of Eden Festival. According to a review at Jambase.com, the fest organizers challenged the band to extend their 4 a.m. time slot and play until music started the next morning. U-Melt responded by playing six-and-a-half hours, without breaks, leading the reviewer to wonder if it wasn't the single longest set by a band ever. Hope they had diapers on!

It's not just their endurance that makes Jam fans melt for U-Melt — the musicianship is top-shelf and their compositional skills encompass a gamut far more vast than your average Jerry-worshiping Jam crew. Like the bands Sound Tribe Sector 9 and Particle, the group incorporates Electronica into their noodling, creating broad atmospherics and dance rhythms. But that's just a slice of the U's melt — Jazz and Rock are also foundational building blocks, and it's all tied together by the band members' virtuosity and creative curiosity. Now based in New York City, U-Melt formed in 2003, combining members of two bands, a440 and Head Monkey. Like any good Jam band worth its weight in hacky-sacks, the group hit the road hard and word-of-mouth excitement about their shows spread. They now have many in the community declaring them the next big thing in Jam bands.

Along with long improv excursions, the band pads its sets with fun, unexpected (and, we're guessing, lengthy) cover songs; they've played Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here album in its entirety, tackled Huey Lewis' "I Want a New Drug" and Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" and once peppered a performance with eight Beatles tunes. Check umelt.com for hours of show recordings if you want a taste before attending. But our best "sound advice" for this show? Take a nap beforehand; there's no telling when you'll get home. (MB)

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