Music » Critics' Picks

The Felix Culpa

8 p.m. Friday, April 9. The Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue.

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When the Felix Culpa released Commitment in 2004, the band was cursed to wear the crown of "next big thing" in the progressive, post-hardcore scene (think bands such as Brand New, Thrice and At the Drive-In). But being a truly independent band can sometimes be a bitch, and it took this northern Illinois quartet the rest of the decade to raise funds to write, record and release its highly anticipated sophomore full-length, Sever Your Roots. It was worth the wait, though: Roots is an epic, cohesive album in the truest sense of the word. Songs fit together seamlessly and the segues don't sound contrived. A natural ebb and flow leads perfectly to the effort's last two (and arguably strongest) songs, "An Instrument" and "Apologies." Above all, Roots' fourteen tracks demand 68 minutes of the listener's undivided attention — and, thanks to great production and inventive playing, the music actually deserves that attention.

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