Town Criers Credit: Tim Nagle

The guitar-driven power pop on Town Criers’ recent self-released EP, Town Criers II, feels like it could live comfortably in any era of garage music from the 60s through the 80s; the singing of guitarist Andre Baptista often sounds like post-Big Star Chris Bell tinged with a bit of fresh-faced Jeff Murphy (from 70s Illinois outfit Shoes). The Chicago band formed a few years ago, and though their first record focused on combining the psych freak-out of the 13th Floor Elevators with the pop fun of the Kinks, they’ve refined and tightened their style over time—a change most apparent when they play live. The core of the band—Baptista, guitarist Scott Truesdale, and drummer Kevin Allen—were joined by bassist Jimmy Russell on Town Criers II and on the band’s 2018 Daytrotter video session, where they play a rousing version of their 2017 single “Rip It Up” as well as Town Criers II track “Tamales Kisses.” The summery backbeat and lust-driven lyrics of the latter (“You’re the reason I can’t sleep at night”) make me think of the sort of singles Dick Clark popularized among screaming teenage girls in the late 60s via American Bandstand. The openers at this show, Los Gold Fires, are celebrating the release of their new album, Renegade, and if you want to dance to spacey surf rock, you shouldn’t miss them.   v