This year the Chicago-based Company of Thieves followed up its intriguing but erratic debut album Ordinary Riches with the precisely aimed throat punch of Running from a Gamble. It's the sound of an indie-rock band getting its radio-ready hooks on, and doing so with a winning sense of drama and braggadocio. The production — chunky guitars and organ and a hard-clocking rhythm section mastered to the Fountains of Wayne max — is buffed up. But Genevieve Schatz's vocals, though still a bit thin and silvery, slice through the sheen on songs like "The Death of Communication" (which sounds like bubblegum Sleater-Kinney) and "Modern Waste" (which sounds like pissed-off Fiona Apple). If the band can truly get its newfound, guitar-thrilled rocks off onstage, this could be one of the sleeper shows of early summer.
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