Radar Eyes are another one of the great Chicago bands these days making garage rock on the HoZac record label. The group celebrated the release of its self-titled debut CD on Saturday (March 24) with a show at the Empty Bottle. Radar Eyes’ music has a strong flavor of ’60s rock and psychedelia, with some of the distortion and sneering tone that you’d expect from a garage band as well as chiming Byrds-like guitar riffs and catchy vocal melodies. (Their album oddly closes with a song that sounds more like Joy Division, though.) In concert, Radar Eyes cranked everything up a notch from the studio recordings. Singer guitarist Anthony Cozzi climbed up on the monitors by the end of the show.
The headline act at the Bottle show was the Night Beats, a Seattle band playing psychedelic garage music not all that far off from what Radar Eyes does. Their specific influence seems to be ’60s Texas psychedelic rock by the likes of the 13th Floor Elevator. Night Beats (who record for another great Chicago label, Trouble in Mind) sounded raunchy and wild, bringing the night to a raucous close.
And not to neglect the first band of the night: Sore Subject. I showed up just as they were finishing their set with a couple of songs that sounded very Ramones-esque.