Music » Critics' Picks

The Box Social

9 p.m. Saturday, February 23. Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust Street.



The Box Social doesn't break any molds or follow trends based on well-timed hipster revivalism. Formed near Milwaukee in 2002 — when its members were still in high school — it's grown from teens playing local basement shows into a no-excuses, no-frills rock & roll band capable of holding its own on the national stage. Case in point: When it came time to record last year's Get Going, the Box Social left the friendly confines of its Wisconsin homeland and spent several sleepless weekends in Chicago, with the intent of producing a record that would finally capture the energy of its live sound. Going accomplishes that mission on songs such as "Big T," a timeless number full of big guitar crunch that tastefully channels the spirit of pop-punk royalty (Green Day) and power-pop godfathers (the Replacements). And at a time when too many musicians skip directly to mad scientist experimentation and pointless gimmickry in lieu of (gasp) actually learning how to play their instruments, that's enough to set a band apart.