Concertgoers already know Mark Treise as the bassist of CCR Headcleaner. Live, he's bedazzled, bedecked with charms, and somewhat bedraggled, churning out the thick low-end beneath CCR Headcleaner's woozy riffs. He's graceful within the tempest of a rock group — even 20 minutes into that clamorous live rendition of "Cokesmoker" — but CCR Headcleaner bears no resemblance to his solo work as Jealousy. The 2011 full-length Viles is his single release under the moniker, and there's been few utterances from the solo side of Treise since. Next week, a live Jealousy set at the Knockout with Mane, Generation Loss, and Fish Breath on Tuesday, June 3, will revive the enigma.
Viles is all hushed chants and understated terror. Its music has a ritual feel, forbidding and austere, with echoed incantations steeped in unnerving textures and minimal melodic vamps. If it's a rite, the purpose is sinister. "I want your sons and daughters," Treise moans on one track. "I'm a killer," he intones on another. We typically think of menacing music as bombastic, intensely physical, and oppressively loud. For Jealousy, though, the same effect is wreaked by taut restraint, croaked threats, and a deftly cultivated atmosphere of dread. Rather than theme songs for senseless rampage, Viles is a meticulous fixation on pain and flesh, all the more disturbing for its calm and deliberate lucidity.
English post-punk group Eagulls use a heavier hand to batter listeners around. Their eponymous album from earlier this year is grounded by throbbing tom-toms and gurgling bass. Above that, gruff vocals growl catcalls at the end of each phrase, while barbed riffs jut out in search of "angular" post-punk qualities — but Eagulls round their edges for the occasional hook, too. The raucous qualities aren't just on record, either. Eagulls garnered some attention after posting churlish online takedowns of South by Southwest last year, lending some credence to the flippant swagger on display in these songs. The album cover features the scorched exterior of a car, and though civil unrest seems a pat pose, Eagulls do uproarious post-punk impeccably. See them headline with Twin Peaks and Tet Holiday on Saturday, May 31, at Bottom of the Hill.
Styrofoam Sanchez sounds like today's sonic detritus assembled into some approximation of a doomy tomorrow, as if the future will just be the sum of today's trash. The experimental group performs in elaborate Styrofoam headpieces and suits, evoking future monopolists of nonrecyclable material flaunting their wealth. Its sets consist of a single lengthy piece, incorporating musique concrète, computers, and live electronic manipulation, that at times sounds like grating machinery or a chorus of amplified empty stomachs. It's harsh, arrhythmic, and conceptual, but not pedantically so. The group bio uses phrases like "sculptural personification," but the experience is enthralling even for people who don't think or talk like that. Styrofoam Sanchez performs Thursday, May 29, with Horseflesh and the Fathers at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco as part of the month-long Creative Music Series.