Depeche Mode's Music for the Masses is old enough to be legally served a drink this year, but as it and many of its counterparts age, they seem to influence more and more bands. DM's title was meant as irony, but it has become more and more apparent that many who listened took that title at face value and decided to carry the torch. Mercurial Rage are near the top of this ever-growing heap, taking careful steps to separate the wheat from the chaff along the way. The bitter, wry wit is still in place as are the pounding synth hooks and sharp, crystalline guitars that saturated the new wave countryside. Gone, however, are the overdone, bleached-out haircuts and the godawful fashion choices so often associated with the original new wave band template. (Why did tapered pants, skinny ties, and too-big, boxy sport coats look good together again?) This, of course, erases any feelings of nostalgia you feel for the good ol' days of British synth-pop. Mercurial Rage aren't British; they were born during the era they are referencing and they give fuckall about the look (or any look really). All of which is to say: They have taken a good thing and made it better. With the Alarmists, White Light Riot, and the Mood Swings. 18+.
Sat., June 7, 8 p.m., 2008