The first time I spun 2004’s Mystery Girl (Failed Experiment), the second album by local ass kickers the SONNETS, I took in their bouncy, gritty mix of punky power pop, surf, Who-style melodies, Motorhead-ish oomph, and Insomniacs-like garage and thought, “Pretty good.” But a second listen wrecked my day: the band’s rare talent to turn joy and anger into a holy flame of rock ‘n’ roll passion managed to pierce my jaded skull, and though I had lots to do I wound up boinging around the house playing air drums all fucking afternoon. Mystery Girl wouldn’t work without the rough-edged pipes of singer-guitarist Vee Sonnets, who founded the group in 1992 and somehow juggles it with four other bands. He writes a mean lyric, too: if you don’t think it’s a spiritual experience to hear the lines “I really like the moves you make / I really like the sounds you fake” hissed over a barely restrained surf beat and followed by a paean-to-rawk chorus, get out of the gee-tar church and quit hogging all the incense, OK? If you’re the type who cares about punk-rock resumes, onetime members of the Vindictives, M.O.T.O., and the Methadones have passed through the Sonnets’ lineup. They plan to record new songs later this winter; no word on a release date, but I’m getting my taxes out of the way now. –Ann Sterzinger
The SIDERUNNERS’ 2002 debut album, Ain’t Inventin’ the Wheel (reissued late last year by Failed Experiment), is aptly titled; these locals play a foursquare style of alt-country that’s perfectly comfortable with the genre’s cliches. But there’s a snappy, fierce, Jason & the Scorchers-like energy in their songs that really comes out live, with shards of punk flying off their hard-drinking honky-tonk. –Monica Kendrick
This show is a fifth-anniversary celebration for Failed Experiment Records. The Siderunners headline, Vanishing Kids play second, and the Sonnets open. Mon 2/6, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401. Free.