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This Little Underground

Our live music critic takes on Crocodiles, Pomegranates, Man or Astro-Man? and more.

Photo: Man or Astro-Man?, License: N/A

Man or Astro-Man?

As for the Astromen, it was actually my first time seeing the underground legends. Aside from all the showmanship of astronaut jumpsuits and campy space videos, they simply sounded great. Their raging, aggressive brand of full-throttle surf rock beamed with beautiful tone, tumble and energy. They somehow make the utterly vintage style feel fresh, throbbing and essential. Besides, having a theremin that bursts into flames and a Tesla coil as part of your act is some serious shit.

I'm not sure exactly what occurred during the bulk of L.A. band Kitten's set (July 21, Backbooth), but all I know is that I walked into a finale where teenage singer Chloe Chaidez was full-body rocking out with such forceful abandon that I found myself actually worried that some head-splitting event was gonna happen with all those sharp guitar headstocks and mic stands in her vicinity. Get it, girl.

Cincinnati headliner Pomegranates is the second band after Crocodiles this week to finally make it here after prior cancellations. Besides all being very, very blond, these guys also suited up in all-white clothes, giving them kind of an albino vibe. But unlike their look, their tight, crisp and shining indie-pop has an utterly natural way. It's a sharply etched sound that's lighthearted, high-spirited and effervescent.

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