Sound Checks

It wasn't until 1985 that St. Louis' Nighthawk Records coaxed the all-but-forgotten Hinds to record the excellent Travel with Love, on which he was backed by the Wailers. Nighthawk also released Know Jah Better in 1992. Since then, the solitary singer's recordings have been mostly compilations issued on reggae superlabel Trojan Records. Hinds' hiatuses never dimmed his mellifluous vocal style, and this rare chance to catch a glimpse of one of Jamaica's most important and cloistered singers should not be missed. (MH)

Poster Children
Wednesday, April 28; Hi-Pointe

You gotta at least admire the Poster Children. They're one of the few independent bands to get caught up in thewhole signing frenzy that followed the Nevermind explosion in the early '90s and exit on the other end of it intact, free of debt and thriving independently. The Children, who are from Champaign, Ill., have been pushed in this paper for years now, so we won't go over the whole history. What we will suggest is that any St. Louis band considering signing to a major label talk to the Poster Children first; they're quite obviously smart and seem to have been able to harness the power of the corporate world to fuel their own machine.

This machine relies on guitars, harmonies and hooks; comes from a punk background but has expanded far beyond its confines; and, in 1999, 10 years after the band's inception, runs with as much pep as it did on day one. On their recent New World Record (spinART), they maneuver double guitars through the verses and choruses, especially on "Accident Waiting to Happen," cut No. 1, a song that recalls the wiry energy of Embarrassment and the deliberate fury of Wire. They've got a heavier rhythm section than either of those bands, though, one that rolls through the record like a runaway train. If you've never seen the Poster Children live and you like loud rock, you're missing an epiphany. (RR)

Contributors: Matthew Hilburn, Terry Perkins, Randall Roberts

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