South city likes its rock & roll messy, and that's how they get it with their favorite sons, the Highway Matrons
. Atop the shambling rhythms of drummer Fred Friction and bassist Mark Sheridan, Mark Stephens builds a wall of noisy guitar that dissolves from fuzzed-out twang to distorted, feedback-drenched bliss. Stephens -- also the guitarist for Fred's Variety Group -- is an idiosyncratic virtuoso, equally capable of textured, reverb-heavy beauty and jagged, two-note solos that peel the paint from the walls; the band's songs generally drift from haunting, country-esque beginnings into squalls of rock & roll frenzy. Friction and Sheridan shore it all up, driving the music during the slow parts and keeping it all from falling apart (or trying valiantly, at least) when Stephens lets loose. If you've never seen these south-side luminaries, come in from the cold and catch up with the rest of us this Saturday.