Aweful Credit: Patrick Houdek

In a world of primping Bachelorette contestants and flowery Insta influencers, a badass rocker such as Traci Trouble can feel like a true heroine. Trouble has been a reliable contributor to Chicago punk, pop punk, and rock ’n’ roll for pushing two decades, as a singer and bassist for groups including Hotlips Messiah, Paper Bullets, and the Wanton Looks. She sounds like Joan Jett, minus a few years and packs of cigs, and she cuts a charismatic figure onstage—like the gatekeeper of a better universe where one spin of a Buzzcocks record would replace everyone’s anxiety meds and photo-filter apps with grit, grime, and the truth. In her new vehicle, Aweful, she’s joined by steadfast drummer Izzy Price (of the Velcro Lewis Group) and Mystery Actions guitarist Lucy Dekay, who contributes Johnny Thunders-esque riffs (albeit with a good attitude). If the trio’s energetic set at the Motoblot festival earlier this summer is any indication, they’re hoping to spread a virus that will inject us all with the raw power of classic punk. Aweful’s new single, “Me Me Me,” sharpens its big burst of energy with a tiny bit of snarl, and because it’s also the title track of their imminent Beercan Records EP (available for purchase at this show), it provides a glimpse of what’s yet to come from the emerging group. The darkly fun Touched by Ghoul are also on the bill at Aweful’s release party—make sure to check out their sneakily brilliant moments of graveyard-picnic blues rock.   v