The Dead Enders
On the Dead Enders' delayed debut, Holly Berry, CJ Gunn and company blaze a trail to hell with shady friends in a cheap, beat-up car that looks really cool. Or at least that's what the songs are about. Gritty and loud, the band includes most of the Subtones. It's less punk but every bit as likely to incite impromptu slamming and beer spilling. Leather-clad singer Berry snarls like she can — and will — kick your ass. On "Please Save Rock and Roll," she looks to rock to save her soul or break it, singing in a cigarettes-and-gravel voice that sounds like Joan Jett's tougher, older sister. Gunn's high-octane leads burn like moonshine. — D.X. Ferris
The Dead Enders perform with Pansy Division and the Hollywood Blondes at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., 216.321.5588, grogshop.gs). Tickets: $8 advance, $10 day of show.
The cosmic cousin to George Clinton and his motherfunking Mothership, Operation Rockstar is the latest project by local scene veterans Karlin Warren, Ed Hayes and Andrew Twiggs. With aspirations of replicating the hybrid style of OutKast or Gnarls Barkley, Operation Rockstar take an old-school approach and update it with some psychedelic flourishes. "Painkillahz" features something that sounds like crashing ocean waves, as a woman sings soulfully about trying to kill her pain. "Supah Niggah" sounds like it came straight from a blaxploitation movie, and "Drop It Low" finds the guys rapping over a plunking, sci-fi-like beat. — Jeff Niesel
Operation Rockstar performs with the Unit at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at the Sunset Lounge (1382 W. 9th St., 216.535.0001, sunsetloungecleveland.com).