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TODAY

Monday, April 22

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Airbags

Go to the Audreys' website and you'll find they don't have much to say about themselves. "The Audreys are a rock band from Chicago." That's it. Their bio is two sentences long, adding only that they formed in 2002. Go to their press link, however, and you'll find others have much more to say about them. Band comparisons, for one, are thrown around like Frisbees -- Velvet Underground, the Stooges, the Pixies and the New York Dolls, to name a few.

Ari delivers high energy, frenetic guitar and vocals, Lisa keeps the band steady with her fast-paced bass, and Mya hammers out a heavy drum beat that doesn't stop. Together they sound a lot like classic Eighties punk with a little Sixties British Invasion thrown in. Their new debut CD, "#13," carries that same energy and pace through six songs, each less than three minutes long. I'd draw you a few similarities, but as I've said, comparisons are plenty.

And the Audreys would say those comparisons are often wrong. They're cursing me for that last paragraph right now, in fact. (Sorry, guys.)

They're not concerned with what sound they're most like or if they're the next big hit. Ari, for one, doesn't believe in that. "Record companies will pick a band that is commercially viable, and that becomes the next big thing." After a while, he says, there are a hundred other bands that try to imitate that sound. Some of them are OK, but most of them aren't. "Ninety percent of the bands out there suck. Nine percent are good, and one percent is great." When asked which percentage the Audreys fall into, he just laughs. "I think we're one of the great ones, of course."

Mya will tell you the band "sounds like Ari."

"I try to write my own way," says Ari. "I'll throw away the songs that sound too much like other bands." He can afford to -- he writes up to five songs a day. Lisa, the newest member of the band (she joined in November after former bassist Stephanie had issues committing to the band's schedule), declines to even describe them at all.

Despite his theories on the quality of rock bands, Ari is excited about the local music scene. "Chicago is really a great town for music. People don't appreciate it... It's important to know how great it is." He adds, "In Chicago today, you can go see a great show week after week... [the punk music today] is punk music that should have been around 20 years ago. And I just wanna be a part of it."

Don't worry, Ari, you're a part of it. I like to take photos of bands playing live, but the Audreys make keeping still for pictures damn near impossible. One recent show started a mosh pit the likes of which I haven't seen since, oh, 1991. Make an effort to go see them -- you won't be disappointed.

The Audreys perform next Friday, June 4th, at the Subterranean, 2011 North Avenue. Headache City, The Oscars and Night Terrors are also on the bill.

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