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Rare Plant Records Showcase IV: Sundial Mottos, Werewolf Jones, Cool Building, Clean Room, Black Cat, Scruggz

  • Art In 1444 East Washington Avenue Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

Madison label Rare Plant presents a night of rock sounds that range from dreamy to downright bruising. Info

Sundial Mottos.

Sundial Mottos.

Madison musicians Claire Nelson-Lifson (of Proud Parents and Cool Building) and Erick Fruehling (of Dumb Vision and Fire Heads) launched the Rare Plant label in 2015, and have since released 40-odd cassettes (with digital versions available as well) from bands around the Midwest and beyond. Just as important as the catalog is the sense of community Rare Plant helps to create with its occasional live showcases, and both capture a spirited cross-section of punk and guitar-pop.

This show brings together several bands who've put out music on the label recently. Milwaukee band Sundial Mottos' 2018 EP, II—which Rare Plant has issued on a cassette that also contains the band's 2017 self-titled debut—finds gauzy guitars and softly crooned vocals swirling around taut drum patterns, in a lovely balance of dream-pop and decisive punch. The other out-of-town band on the bill here, Detroit's Werewolf Jones, put out a self-titled album of scuzzy garage-punk on Rare Plant in 2018. Madison band Black Cat debuted last year on the label with the album Withdraw Your Consent, a collection of furious political hardcore songs, and fellow Madisonians Clean Room have put out two EPs of catchy, rollicking thrash on Rare Plant, 2017's Madcity Meltdown and Bad Bad Dream. Two more Madison outfits, Cool Building (Nelson-Lifson's trio with The Hussy's Heather Sawyer and Coordinated Suicides' Chris Joutras) and the masked duo Scruggz, round out this solid lineup. —Scott Gordon