In its own way, Puerto Muerto has always been ahead of its time. The ghosts of music past often are, and in the strange and turbulent vision of Tim Kelley and Christa Meyer, those ghosts return with revolutionary zeal. On the just-released Drumming for Pistols, the Chicagoans (once St. Louisans) still bear the scars of their art-wounded, cabaret expressionism, but their palette has grown wider and wilder. Strings quiver and bells flash; percussion buffets the sometimes violent, sometimes vulnerable imagery; and on the dense title track, CBGB punk cuts against sea chantey-esque rounds and undiluted threats. "The pleasure you once thought was yours is squandered as life hits the blind," sings Meyer in her exquisitely chilling mezzo soprano. Yet, many pleasures remain for a band and an audience open to musical risks.
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