exude big-city cool while playing catchy garage rock, meaning this group is to Chicago what the Strokes are to New York. Yet despite a critically touted debut and some prime opening slots (the New Pornographers, Wilco), the M's remain under the radar and that's where similarities with the never-underrated Strokes end. The Windy City quartet trades studied aloofness for Midwestern warmth (cooing harmonies, undistorted lead vocals, festive horn accents), which makes its songs sound genuinely inviting. The group's second record, Future Women
, plays like a kaleidoscopic Kinks career overview, with artful psychedelic numbers colliding with serrated stompers. From the music fan's perspective, it's ideal to see an inspired new act play an intimate venue such as the Hi-Pointe without smothering hype.