Tiger Army, with Lost City Angels and the Unseen

Sunday, April 10, at the Meridian, 1503 Chartres, 713-225-1717

Admittedly, the psychobilly scene isn't exactly known for its diversity. As long as it's loud, fast, twangy and propelled by a bass fiddle that slaps harder than Joan Collins on Dynasty, the tattooed and pompadoured will show up in droves. At the forefront of the genre is California's Tiger Army, who got their start at Berkeley's 924 Gilman Street, the punk collective club which also launched Green Day, Rancid and AFI. And though the lineup has changed since their debut, this Army still has a capable commanding officer in singer-guitarist Nick 13, who has wisely steered the group toward a new direction with their third full-length, Tiger Army III: Ghost Tigers Rise. The textbook psychobilly riffs-o-rama sound is still there, but there are also hints of more dark and atmospheric pop as well as just a glimmer of goth. (Hence the tour's "Dark Romance" moniker.)

Supporting are Boston's Lost City Angels, whose more traditional hardcore punk sounds shine through on their current CD, Broken World. Comprising singer Ron Ragona, guitarists Nick Bacon and Drew Suxx, mono-monikered bassist Duggan and drummer Adam Shaw, they're often said to be a more melodic and far less incendiary acolyte of Social Distortion, though the Living End is a better comparison. Bacon and Suxx do offer some catchy chords amid the apocalyptic lyrics, so there should be some fierce pogoing in the pit.

 
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