Magic Hour is a collision of apparent opposites. Drummer Damon Krukowski and bassist Naomi Yang once powered Galaxie 500’s lighter-than-air post-Velvet Underground pop; guitarists Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar, on the other hand, have probed the outer limits of crazed psychedelic guitar abuse in their bands Crystalized Movements, Vermonster, and BORB, as well as on lead vocalist Rogers’s solo albums. On paper the quartet looks like a mismatch, but in practice they work together splendidly. The rhythm section plays with more force than they’ve previously displayed, while the guitarists’ exploratory jams have acquired a newfound subtlety. The combination’s success is especially apparent on the single “Heads Down”; Krukowski’s masterful trap work builds tension over Yang’s pulsing foundation, while Rogers’s melodic leads spiral around Biggar’s feedback blasts, finally exploding in a shattering climax. This is their Chicago debut. Dambuilders headline; also appearing is Mercy Rule. Friday, 10 PM, Lounge Ax, 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Ken Winokur.