Hanzel und Gretyl
Don't let the fairy-tale name fool you. Hanzel und Gretyl — the New York -based duo of Vas Kallas and Kaiser Von Loopy — started as a quirky futuristic vision, using a patchwork of samples, drum loops and dirty guitars to promote their tongue-in-cheek theme of "machines good, people bad." Their 1995 debut, Ausegeflippt, caught the attention of Marilyn Manson, who enlisted HuG as an opening act. HuG then hit the road with industrial-rock and metal veterans such as Rammstein, Slipknot, Prong and Ministry. All that time on the road with the sonic heavyweights rubbed off on the duo, as each release became heavier, further blurring the lines between industrial-rock and metal. On their most recent release, 2012: Zwanzig Wolf, HuG's sonic visions of the future have mutated into an audio holocaust, and militancy never sounded so catchy. In the live setting, be prepared to be taken aback by Vas Kallas shredding away on guitar while she belts out vocals that would make some in the death-metal community blush. September Mourning and Ludwyg open at 8 p.m. at Peabody's (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $14 advance, $16 day of show. — Norm Narvaja
There's a middle ground of punk from the late 1980s that's easy on the ears but still hard rockin'. The Swingin' Utters are from that period and offer a smidgeon of everything. The Bay area-based five-piece has released nine records in 20 years and proven that short, catchy songs are enduring. The guys also have an affinity for all things Pogues, which complements their swaying sound. Expect to be whistling a melody or two when you exit the club. Cleveland punks the Roller Rockers throw three chords to the wind as the openers at 8 p.m. at the Agora Ballroom (5000 Euclid Ave., 216.881.6700). Tickets: $12.50 advance, $14 day of show. — Nick DeMarino
Lucky enough to have parents who encouraged her whimsical forays into the arts, Australian singer-songwriter Lenka Kripac had an ideal upbringing. At the age of 12, she went to acting school, where Cate Blanchett was her teacher. Before long, she was touring the country in an indie-rock outfit called Decoder Ring. "My childhood was very free and cool," she admits in a recent phone interview. "I'm very nostalgic about it. I was essentially running around in the bush and talking to the trees." Her new self-titled album steers clear of Decoder Ring's ambient electronica and adopts a chamber-pop sound that's equal parts Rufus Wainwright and Regina Spektor. "I was very adamant that it had a symphonic quality and used as many different instruments as possible," she says. "I worked with different producers and I'd always say that, and they'd go, 'OK' and then really sink their teeth into it. The first session was with Pierre Marchand in Montreal. He did the sweet ballads and soulful stuff. For a couple of songs, I wanted something darker thing happening, so I got Mike Elizondo who's worked with Jay-Z and Fiona Apple and Maroon 5. That was really cool too. I worked with a few other producers as well. I was going through a bit of developmental stage at the time and the album reflects that." Lenka opens for fellow Aussie Missy Higgins and singer-songwriter Justin Nozuka at 7:30 p.m. at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583). Tickets: $19.50 advance, $22 day of show.
— Jeff Niesel
Saints and Sinners Tour
If poetry is pitted against aggressive guitar solos, is it still poetry? If religious beliefs are shrieked from the top of one's lungs, do they retain their core Buddhist values? Senses Fail has pondered such musical queries for six years, one EP and three full-lengths. Much to fans' relief, the Jersey four-piece seems to have few definitive answers (their 2006 sophomore effort was titled Still Searching).Literate and introspective, the band's influences range from Charles Bukowski and Joseph Campbell to its own battles with cancer and the bottom of the bottle. With a sound that's dense, brooding and expansive, lyricist/vocalist Buddy Nielsen and company are never content to pass off fist-pumping, easy-to-digest pop-punk sing-alongs as something meaningful. It's fitting that the inaugural Saints and Sinners tour, an offshoot of the annual two-day metal festival of the same name, would tap Senses Fail as ambassadors of well-meaning, if flawed, personal evolution. Hollywood Undead, Haste the Day and Brokencyde start things off at 7 p.m. at House of Blues (308 Euclid Ave., 216.523.2583). Tickets: $18 advance, $20 day of show.
— Julie Seabough
Destruction's latest album is called D.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N., which would be funny if the German thrashers had, in fact, returned to the grimy roots which made them champions of the '80s underground. But the 2008 record is melodically impressive and rhythmically intricate. Destruction hasn't turned into a prog-metal act, but the bare-bones assault of albums like 2001's The Antichrist and 2003's Metal Discharge has been bulked up with a strong dose of guitar technique and lyrical surprises. The title track recalls classic Megadeth in its cynicism and penetrating intelligence. But the most important thing is that these old bastards bring the riffs live; they're a hair-pinwheeling, moshpit-starting firestorm of classic speed metal. Check out these old-school masters at work. Krisium, Mantic Ritual and Cellbound open at 8 p.m. at Peabody's (2045 E. 21st St., 216.776.9999). Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show. — Phil Freeman
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