The event's last installment packed the exquisite new Over-the-Rhine venue, The Cavern, a positive sign for Downtown's occasionally struggling live-music scene. This month's CRM features three choice national acts (plus local greats Stonewater). Despite the confrontational band name, Detroit's The Fags sport a candy-flavored Power Pop, sound spiked with classic Rock & Roll swagger and punch. The band's fantastic self-titled EP will make fans of Pop/Rock masters from Cheap Trick to The Shazam squeal like little schoolgirls. Expert stuff, through and through. Chicago's Box-O-Car (pictured) plows a similar field, enhancing its three-minutes-and-out New Wave/Pop with a little Glam razzamataz. The band is supporting its potent new EP, In the Future ... On Mars! While also possessing a knack for a strong hook, Jersey's Mad Happy works on a much broader canvas than its bill-mates. Mad Happy's recent Bar-None Records release, Feel Good Music ...For the Broke Middle Class, is a hopeful, enigmatic slice of poetic eclecticism.
At The Cavern on Saturday.
-- M. B.