In a parallel universe where musical adventure has as much cultural cachet as action-adventure, the soundtrack to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (remember, the one with the huge snake?) might have been composed by Rope. This Chicago-via-Poland outfit's free-jazz-flavored, no-wave noise paints spooky pictures filled with intense bass chords, squawking guitars and clanging pots and pans -- and the vocals sound eerily like Parseltongue, the snake language spoken in Chamber. After recording and releasing a debut EP in their native country, bassist/vocalist Robert Iwanik and guitarist Przemyslaw Chris Drazek added percussionist Michael J. Kendrick to their lineup for last year's Steve Albini-produced Widow's First Dawn. Fans of John Zorn or Univers Zero will feel right at home with Rope's unpredictable dynamic shifts and moody soundscapes. There's nothing to hum along to here, but expect a brutal, expansive and terrifying show from this innovative threesome. It might even conjure up the Basilisk.
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