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Waterloo/Wormwood Scrubs

As dusk gathered on the crowded concrete parking lot at the Schlafly Tap Room in August, Waterloo began its show with an appropriately shadowy cover of New Order's "True Faith." This moody opening number set the tone for a night of Waterloo's classic heartstring-pulling, all rugged indie fuzz and swelling choruses that take cues from Radiohead, R.E.M. and other souls touched by the nuances of living and loving. The band spent a large portion of 2005 writing and recording new material and promise this show will contain lots of new tunes from next year's CD, Out of the Woods. "This time, we stripped things down a bit, recorded them more intimately and organically," vocalist-guitarist Mark Ray says of the new tunes. "But the songs seem to have more drive and energy and scale. I suppose there's a sense of loss in the record from events both personal and cultural, but I think the songs also reflect a guarded optimism in response to that." Wormwood Scrubs, they of the loping, front-porch rock and Larissa Dalle's desolate country-sweetheart vocals, open.

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