Death by Stereo
How's this for a holiday greeting: California punks Death by Stereo posted on their website this past Christmas Eve an illustration featuring Santa Claus holding a pistol to Jesus' head. Happy holidays, kids! The band has been kicking around since the late '90s, and in true punk spirit, they've released a string of aggressive records on numerous labels over the years. Their latest, 2009's Death Is My Only Friend, is their first in five years. But the break hasn't softened them one bit. They're still mighty pissed off in loud and angry songs like "Opening Destruction" and "Who Should Die? You Should Die." Death by Stereo have gone through countless lineup changes in the past 10 years, but the current group backing founding frontman Efrem Schulz is as potent as ever. — Bill Delaney
With Transit, Light Years, and Heads Held High. 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 23. Grog Shop. Tickets: $10; call 216-321-5588 or go to grogshop.gs.
Remember when Metallica didn't suck? Or when a booming bass drum drove your pulse to new heights? Montreal's Kataklysm sure remember, and their sole purpose in life is to shred the skin off your face. (You'd never suspect there's a soft-spoken French accent beneath the ferocity of Maurizio Iacono's growling voice.) Kataklysm — who spent part of 2010 touring with Ozzfest — are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. The death-metal group's latest album, Heaven's Venom, came out last year, but they're just now kicking off the North American leg of their Spread the Venom World Tour at Peabody's this week. Hey, ladies: All four guys speak French. Hey, guys: Get in the pit and love someone. Hey, everybody: Prepare for a very sore neck and ringing ears the next day. — Terry Jozwiak
With All Shall Perish, Decrepit Birth, and Abysmal Dawn. 6:30 p.m. Thursday, February 24. Peabody's. Tickets: $16, $14 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or go to peabodys.com.
Haste the Day
After a decade together, the Christian metalcore band Haste the Day is calling it quits after one last swing through the States. They've pretty much been the go-to group for Christian metalcore fans for the past few years. But don't let that tag scare you away. Their hard riffs have attracted lots of metal fans who aren't necessarily into the religious side of things. The Indiana quintet self-released its debut EP in 2002, and it sold well enough that follow-up records made some noise on the mainstream charts: Their last three albums all cracked the Top 100. They played the Warped tour in 2007 and followed that with opening gigs for Atreyu and As I Lay Dying. (And these guys are committed to their cause: Their guitarist quit the group after he lost his religion.) The band's final album, Attack of the Wolf King, came out last year. Here's your last chance to see them before they break up next month. — Chrissy Niehaus
With MyChildren MyBride, the Chariot, and a Plea for Purging. 6 p.m. Friday, February 25. Peabody's. Tickets: $15, $13 in advance; call 216-776-9999 or go to peabodys.com.
Plain White T's
It's been a rough few years for the post-"Hey There Delilah" Plain White T's. Since their breakthrough 2007 hit, the Chicago pop-punk band has dropped that song's most noticeable characteristics — the finger-picked acoustic guitar, the aw-shucks confessional tone — onto their follow-up records. Their new concept album, The Wonders of the Younger, is all about growing up — an earnest attempt to recapture the feelings of love, sex, and hurt for the very first time. As a whole, it's not nearly as cloying as "Hey There Delilah," even if frontman Tom Higgenson piles on wide-eyed sincerity throughout. But that's what Plain White T's have always been about. They're more hopeful and not nearly as cynical (or as mean-spirited) as so many of their peers. They'll hug you at the end of the night and won't write a bitchy song about you if they don't get a goodnight kiss. Delilah had it so good. — Michael Gallucci
With Parachute and Miggs. 8 p.m. Friday, February 25. Beachland Ballroom. Tickets: $20, $18 in advance; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.
There's an explosive charge of old-school punk ringing through the music of Cleveland's All Dinosaurs. They play fast and loud songs that steamroll into your ears with no intention of stopping for shit along the way. But pry beneath their steady blitz of noise and you'll hear a band that pays just as much attention to the smaller things that drive their songs. Their debut album, Paranoid Indigenous, is one of the strongest local releases we've heard this year. Check out the way all four members get their voices heard in the rowdy sing-along "The Castle of Uncle Robert." Or the tricky, and somewhat complex, way they weave in and out of "Generic Powershit"'s core melody by taking a few face-pummeling detours along the way. Are they punk? Are they metal? They're a little of both, with a considerable dose of indie-rock resilience coursing through their best songs. All Dinosaurs are releasing Paranoid Indigenous this week with a CD-release show at the Beachland on Saturday. We're guessing it's going to be loud and plenty awesome. — Gallucci
With HotChaCha, Trigger Effect, and Struttin' Cocks. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, February 26. Beachland Tavern. Tickets: $5; call 216-383-1124 or go to beachlandballroom.com.