City on the Make

Ever wonder what a really good blues record would sound like if it were assaulted with a tire iron and had acid splashed in its eyes? Right, not many people ever think about things like that, but City on the Make seemed to be thinking about that question constantly on last year's debut, In the Name of Progress. Their songs are all blues songs at their core, but they take weird, feedback-infused detours, and though sometimes lead singer Mike Massey's baby leaves him, it's for a robot not a new place to dwell. Massey's dark, descriptive lyrics are full of this kind of off-kilter self-loathing, but the heartbreak is tempered by revenge or exacerbated by self-destruction; he's not one to suffer betrayal with quiet grace. He speeds aimlessly down I-94 both in search of and trying to escape what is essentially nothing; he plays a two-bit hood named Angelo and sometimes suffers from lycanthropy. City on the Make are celebrating the release of their new EP, $1,000,000, which is full of the same kind of twisted, gritty, inside-out blues riffs and richly detailed stories about fringe dwellers at the edge of their sanity, like a Raymond Chandler novel come to life. With Dragons Power Up and the Tender Sweaters. 18+.
Sat., June 7, 8 p.m., 2008

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