Emerging from underground venues in Chicago’s Northwest side, NE-HI made its name on both its live energy and cleverly wrought guitar anthems. On its second album Offers (Grand Jury), out Februrary 24th, the band takes those basement-forged instincts and refines them, lets its guitars explore new angles, and focuses its songwriting. The result shows there are a wide range of post-punk possibilities yet to be explored. It all started at Animal Kingdom, a flash-in-the-pan DIY basement in Chicago’s Logan Square. NE-HI’s more ambitious sound and heady arrangements broke away from garage rock’s back-to-basic’s approach. The band’s disparate influences--Wire’s post-punk, Springsteen’s everyman anthems, along with echoes of dreamy atmospheres of Dave Roback’s Rain Parade and the jangly buzz of Kiwi pop legends The Clean--began burning through. Offers is NE-HI finding that rising to the occasion means living up to your own standards, not someone else’s.
Returning to the Bottle after headlining a rocking Friday night in January is DEEPER. This quarteet started in 2014 as a shimmering dream-pop four-piece and have since adopted a fuller, more nuanced sound with a stronger focus on guitar interplay and driving rhythms. On their excellent Fire Talk debut, "Trans," released this past May, DEEPER channels the anxiety and uneasiness of modern life by weaving chiming guitar swirls to a dense climax. We're expecting big things outta these fellas in 2017.
Opening the evening is CAFE RACER. Formerly known as GROSS POINTE, this Chicago band made their live debut right here back in March. The psych/shoegaze rock n roll quartet are influenced by everything from BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE to JESUS & MARY CHAIN. They sound more groovy and noisey with textured melody than their past aggressive garage punk history.