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New Releases

Review of records by The Semi-Supervillains and Volcano Dogs

The Semi-Supervillains
Here Comes Trouble

Why is this power-pop outfit called The Semi-Supervillains? Is it because their plans for global domination didn’t pan out? They couldn’t manage to get the death ray to work? Here Comes Trouble is the newest five-song EP from the group; its sound recalls early-2000s garage rock, a la The Hives, with hints of “Hash Pipe”-era Weezer. The songs are less edgy, though — more likely to be called “cute” rather than “snotty” or “snarling,” or similar words that critics use to describe rough-and-tumble pop like this. Perhaps the “semi” modifier means these supervillains are more a cuddly sort, the kind you can take home to your mom. — Andrew Woehrel Volcano Dogs

Volcano Dogs
(Rat Records)

On Volcano Dogs’ opening track, “1970,” vocalist Bruce Lentz recounts being 13, “freaking out to Creem magazine … rock ’n’ roll was waiting for me.” He then throws a series of shout-outs: Iggy and the Stooges, Grand Funk Railroad, Alice and Ozzy. Some bands might hint at their influences, but Volcano Dogs provides a roadmap. Which is to say, the band does a great Alice Cooper (“Acid Curveball” and the dubiously titled “War of the Super Bitches”) and an even better Stooges (basically every other song on the record). Featuring members of Dream Death, Silver Tongued Devil, Eviction and others, these Dogs boasts a rich hard-rock pedigree. Though there are several decades of potential musical burnout represented, Volcano Dogs channels the energy and excitement of teenage discovery. 

Margaret Welsh

VOLCANO DOGS RECORD-RELEASE SHOW 10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 23. Excuses, 2526 E. Carson St., South Side. Free. 412-431-4090 or

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