Critic's Choice

Carolyn's Mother

It's a story as old as dirt and every bit as gritty: Rock band forms, shows promise, toils for years and years, fails to grab the brass ring and finally is written off as irrelevant. When faced with the fact that it will never make the bigtime, each act reacts differently. Some read the writing on the wall, acknowledge their fate and bow out gracefully. Others are content with being a big fish in a small pond and continue to play long after the window of opportunity has closed. A few cling to relevance by grabbing on to the latest trends in hopes of reinventing themselves. And then there's Carolyn's Mother, whose members have completely disregarded everything they're "supposed" to do at this stage of their career. They've given the finger to naysayers and found new fans, not just by continuing to slug it out in clubs, but by refusing to align themselves with any of the here-today-gone tomorrow movements -- ska, swing, emo -- and remaining true to their original sound. Melding influences like the Simple Minds and U2, Carolyn's material has only improved with time, as demonstrated on the band's latest disc, Too Many Fires. Anthemic and textured, the album is the group's best effort to date, and was one of last year's local highlights. Even the exit of stalwart Bob Rupp didn't slow things down. Instead, these elder statesmen enlisted Judge Roughneck axman Chris Reidy (not pictured), and got a new lease on life. See how well they've aged this Saturday, June 12, at Herman's Hideaway.

 
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