My column on the Poison Arrows made mention of their record-release party at the Empty Bottle tomorrow (4/5), but there wasn’t enough room to say much about the two other excellent bands with new records filling out the bill.

Sterling‘s been making some interesting noise around town for a few years now, but it took the additions of Andy Lasagnan from 90 Day Men on piano and Al Burian from Milemarker on bass to turn them into a perplexing, sometimes amazing, sometimes totally scary band. Their new album, Cursed, is a collection of epic, instrumental story songs composed of metal, classical music, and post-rock (among other things). It’s like Mogwai binging on Kenneth Anger flicks. 

Former Chicagoan Che Arthur has been playing solo shows for a long-ass time now, but he’s amped his sound up for his new CD, Iron. In the past Arthur’s worked a kind of bashful troubadour vibe, but Iron is some full-on rock shit, coming off at various points like anything from Jawbreaker to Bauhaus. Hopefully he’ll transfer some of that crunchy heft to the stage now that he has a band, the Che Arthur Three.