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Smith Westerns 

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Anyone who listened to the Smith Westerns' self-titled 2009 debut could recognize the shining nuggets of 24-karat pop lurking behind the LP's murky curtain of overdriven, basement-born distortion. The sonic Fort Knox that is Dye It Blonde (Fat Possum), the Chicago trio's generous January follow-up, was less foreseeable, if only slightly. With a hand from Midas-maker producer Chris Coady (Beach House, TV on the Radio, Gang Gang Dance), vocals go from snide and hiding to unabashed, lungs-wrung harmonizing; guitars that were content to jingle-jangle on "The Glam Goddess" and "Boys Are Fine" are given an acetone bath and amplified into steroidal, exploding-heart rainbows in stereo, finding pots of gold at the end of every bending fill and solo on tone-setting opener "Weekend" and top single "Imagine Pt. 3." That the album sounds so great is gravy for the band's fans, who would have lapped up another helping of garaged rock recidivism no matter how impenetrable things got. But to fresh ears — or those fatigued from the auditory equivalent of carbon monoxide poisoning — it's a breath of fresh air. Brass Bed and Bass Drum of Death open. Tickets $8. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

May 5

Smith Westerns

8 p.m. Thursday

One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;


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