Music » Critics' Picks

Flee the Seen with Next Best Thing, Loser's Luck, Novella and Centerpointe

Saturday, January 22; Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)

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Hardcore breakdowns share songs with clear, confident female vocals about as often as Clark Kent stands side-to-side with Superman. Yet Flee the Seen, which alternates its crushing, circle-pit-catalyzing slowdown segments with sharp melodies that stick like grappling hooks in solid stone, combines these elements in a compellingly combustible fashion. Kim Anderson's strong, smoky singing voice soars over jagged riffs, deceptively dense drumbeats and her own staggered bass lines. Guitarist R.L. Brooks uses his primal scream as an accent instrument, punctuating the percussion during especially intense outbursts. Lyrically, the group treads dark waters, detailing destroyed relationships and delivering cryptic warnings. "Let truth be found in this underground," a refrain from "Escape Plan," sounds like a music-as-savior testimonial, until the rest of the words establish the phrase as an urgent plea for evidence in a crime-scene setting.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7-$9; call 314-421-3853 for more information.

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