by Bao Le-Huu
Tuesday, Jan. 8 – Forgetters
with the New Lows, Permanent Makeup
54 N. Orange Ave.
For many fans, following the musical journey of Blake Schwarzenbach has been something of a polarizing bronco ride. But this current Brooklyn-based band with former Against Me! drummer Kevin Mahon and bassist-keyboardist Michelle Proffit is a seasoned, well-tuned balance between the punk-rock brawn of his early Jawbreaker days, the expansive indie-rock tendrils of his subsequent term in Jets to Brazil and the humanity and heart that’s defined his sensibility all along. The result is a moody, deep and richly melodic vocabulary that both stretches the definition of punk rock and defies its conventions altogether. It’s an alluringly thick sound that’s a continuation of Schwarzenbach’s maturing perspective as well as a sonic return to rawness not heard from him in many years. Locals sweetening the pot are dissonant art-punkers Permanent Makeup and the New Lows, who’ve been on an energized tear since the release of their excellent new album I Couldn’t Sleep. – Bao Le-Huu