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Toupée, Czarbles, Noxroy

  • Communication 2645 Milwaukee Street Madison United States (map)

Chicago band Toupée plays a bizarre and charismatic strain of post-punk. Info

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Chicago band Toupée balances filth with allure in its approach to noisy post-punk. On "Glitter Roach," from the 2015 album Leg Toucher, bassist-singer Whitney Allen escalates from a cooed vocal melody to hoarse, gibbering screams, pushing and pulling against the tension of her bandmates' churning drums and fragmented guitars. (Allen, Nicholas Hagen, Mark Fragassi, and Sid Frigo all switch among different instruments, though Allen always forms the band's charismatic center, both live and on record.) What keeps me coming back to this release is that Toupée finds so many ways to make noise and melody wriggle together, building up atmospheric little goth-rock suites on songs like "Constrictor" and "Mommy Is A Mummy" but starting at full tilt on the 38-second "The Spider That Lives In Your Hair." Toupée's live shows tend to add an element of cracked spectacle to its expertly warped sonics, and the band shares the bill here with standout Madison instrumental-rock trio Czarbles and experimental electronic project Noxroy. —Scott Gordon

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