Crooked Jades 

Wednesday, May 31, at 9 p.m. Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue)

The Crooked Jades brandish the slogan "old time is not a crime" like a double-edged sword. On World's on Fire they risk rationalizing the genre's more psychopathic themes (most murder ballads aren't fiction, after all) but also incorporate creepy samples of girls speaking in tongues and original material as grim and poetic as a Nick Cave outtake. "We grew up in days of mercury and revenge," croaks guitarist and principal songwriter Jeff Kazor, with mandolinist Jennie Benford whispering back to him — either a devil or angel in his ear, you can't tell which. When fiddler Adam Tanner and slide-guitarist and banjo-picker Erik Pearson get to rocking, the band puts aside any doubts about why you gotta sin to be saved.

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