Disappears and Weekend at the Empty Bottle


With its new album, Era, the Chicago band Disappears continues to make loud, churning kraut rock with an unsettled, occasionally menacing air about it. On its previous record, Pre Language, the group moved a bit away from epic-length drones and jams and more toward concise rock songs. The new record tilts back in the old direction… or maybe it just shows the band finding a  middle ground between song structure and full-on sonic assault? In any case, Disappears’ new and old songs sounded powerful when the group played them Friday (Sept. 20) at the Empty Bottle. Since last year, ex-Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley has departed from Disappears, but his replacement, Noah Leger of Electric Hawk and Anatomy of Habit, made an appropriately thunderous noise.

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Speaking of thunder, the middle band on the lineup, Weekend, played an equally fierce set, finishing its final song with about 30 seconds of hair-raisingly dramatic crescendo. It was quite an end to an impressive performance.

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The Chicago band Outside World started off the evening, beginning its set with shoegaze-style drone but eventually settling into a series of tuneful rock songs. It was the first time I’d heard Outside World; they’re a band that’ll be worth watching.

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