Eighteen Visions

Friday, February 18; Creepy Crawl

Dividing modern rock into neat categories is an exercise bordering on the hilariously absurd these days. Besides old standbys emo and screamo, there's crustpunk, mallpunk and "Spock rock," a scene reportedly vibrant in San Diego that involves melding together metallic riffs and spazzy synths -- Leonard Nimoy bowl-cut optional (but pervasive).

Looking sharp is likewise important to the vets in Eighteen Visions, who frequently earn the subtly mocking tag "fashioncore" for their perfectly-dyed coifs and dapper attire. The SoCal band does little to prevent this label -- it sells a necktie in its merch store, for God's sake -- but still isn't innocuous enough to take home to Mom for milk and cookies. Since 1996, the ever-evolving 18V lineup has released four albums of tire-shredding metalcore soaked in Black Sabbath sludge and agonized vocal slobbering, including last year's Obsession, which cracked the Billboard Top 200 the week following its release. Nevertheless, perhaps as a nod to the major-label record deal 18V inked last year with Epic, producer Mudrock caused Obsession to lose much of the unhinged rawness found on previous albums like 2002's Vanity. Witness "Tower of Snakes," which lurches with the dated heft of Rage Against the Machine. -- Annie Zaleski

Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10-$12; call 314-851-0919 for more information.

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