Lineup changes are all too common in rock bands, as members come and go, succumbing to tour stress, personal friction and the ever-popular "creative differences." As significant as these shakeups seem to the participants, though, the only change the average audience member notices is when a band switches singers. Collinsville's Ring, Cicada (pictured) recently took this a step further recently, losing a singer and returning to their all-instrumental roots. "We're planning on working in vocals from within the band," says bassist Eric Abert, "but, for the time being, everything seems to be going fine." The band, which also includes drummer Keith Abert and guitarists Christian Powell and Dave Goodman, has released several CDs on Abert's own Two Watts record label and travels out of town often; the group just got back from a successful West Coast tour. Live, Ring, Cicada has grown incredibly tight, weaving a dense web of post-punk guitar over constantly shifting tempos. Although the inevitable comparisons with instrumental combos such as Tortoise and Don Caballero are not altogether unjustified, Ring, Cicada doesn't pursue the gratuitous arty jazz of the former or the full-on prog-rock topographic tale-telling of the latter: Both feet are firmly planted in mid-'90s indie rock. St. Louis indie-rock fans who haven't already done so should check out these talented East Siders when they play the Rocket Bar on Friday.Also performing are Chicago's We Ragazzi. The guitar/drums/farfisa trio play over-the-top, soul-drenched punk that should appeal to fans of such bands as Makeup and Delta 72.
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