Critics Pick: Stuck w/ Kids, Pink Strap

click to enlarge Stuck - Vanessa Valadez
Vanessa Valadez

Songwriter Greg Obis leads Chicago's Stuck through a set of elastic post-punk with the kind of honed tone and delivery that can only be achieved after years of targeted erosion. It makes sense then that Obis' day job as an engineer at Chicago Mastering Service has him analyzing and, at times, sculpting other musicians' work. The songs of Stuck feel similarly carved by the scalpels of each band member, as warbling no-wave guitars ride atop the cement-footed, bottom-heavy punk beats racing underneath. Obis provides a bellowing voice that weaves between howling calls to action and pointed spoken word, yet the unifying feature is in the urgent, semi-anxious tone imbued throughout. This is the kind of stuff that just can't be faked. While Stuck's 2021 release Content That Makes You Feel Good presents the band at a creative peak, 2020's excellent Change Is Bad went right under the radar, as it came only a couple weeks into COVID-19 & Chill — a time when so many of us thought the coronavirus would be around for a few months, max. Stuck hits St. Louis at the end of a two-week tour that includes a string of shows at SXSW in Austin.
Let's Go to the Mall: Speaking of the pandemic, the first virtual set I saw after the venues shut down in 2020 was a cathartic livestream from the Mall's Facebook page. Two years later and the brains behind the Mall, Mark Plant, will debut a new project at this show, dubbed Pink Strap.

Stuck w/ Kids, Pink Strap 8 p.m. Thursday, March 24. Platypus, 4501 Manchester. Free. 314-448-1622.
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