Nine times out of ten, a band's CD release party is cause for unchecked celebration. The tenth it gets a little more complicated. Katy's Jody Seabody & the Whirls formed in 2004 and have been slugging it out in the trenches of the local scene – Rudyard's, Fitz, Notsuoh and most often Super Happy Fun Land – a few times a month for the past few years. Then last fall, bassist Matt Johnston, a Whirls member since high school, passed away from heart failure. The group had already recorded their latest LP, Summer Us, but understandably have held off on booking a release show until now. Another old friend, Dylan Thompson, filled in at the Whirls' Summer Fest slot and will be there Saturday; guitarist/vocalist Bryce Perkins says he may become a permanent member. Luckily, Summer Us is worth holding onto, a shiny, well-recorded collection of alternative-leaning '90s guitar rock that brushes up against power-pop, funk and grunge until some inner Rush switch flips on for labyrinthine closer "Stereo Ghost." Any donations from Saturday's free show will go to Matt Johnston's widow and two young children.
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