Payback's a cinch

Bands come and bands go, and sometimes after they go, their members return in entirely new shapes. Singer Matt Suggs, formerly of lo-fi indie rockers Butterglory, has recruited parts of the disbanded power-emo outfit Get Up Kids and Lawrence, Kansas', Higher Burning Fire for his new project, White Whale. Suggs plays Ahab to this leviathan of a group, injecting an ardor into its often-epic guitar and keyboard rock. White Whale's debut for Merge has been getting exaggerated Arcade Fire comparisons, but the grandiose, seven-minute "O'William, O'Sarah" and the rousing "We're Just Temporary, Ma'am" should transform the kids' lackadaisical head-nodding into inspired fist-pumping. White Whale performs Thursday, Sept. 14, at the Bottom of the Hill at 9 p.m. Admission is $10; call 621-4455 or visit for more info. Jonah Flicker

Even within the motley bunch of bands that surfaced in the most recent Detroit revival, The Paybacks are an odd lot, preferring the aggressive wallop of pop changes and stink-faced guitar solos over '60s garage chug. Revisiting their most recent record, 2004's Harder and Harder, the quartet offers songs about hard luck and rough love with ballsy spirit to spare. Delivered in the graveled wail of bandleader and songwriter Wendy Case, the record was pure, gutsy rock in the spirit of Joan Jett. But what got caught on tape could never harness the quartet's energy on stage, when Case leads the Paybacks through transcendental three-minute explosions to demonstrate the redemptive dynamics of the power chord. Though well paired with headlining act Southern Culture on the Skids, The Paybacks will steal the show for those wise enough to arrive early on Friday, Sept. 15, at Great American Music Hall at 9 p.m. Admission is $16; call 885-0750 or visit for more info. Nate Cavalieri

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