Arthhur Credit: Nico Ciani

On December’s self-released Lost in the Walled City, Chicago’s Arthhur sound like they would’ve been signed to DFA Records if they’d been around in the early aughts. They’ve only been releasing music for a couple years, though front man Mike Fox launched Arthhur as a solo vehicle, but quickly roped in Matt Ciani (the two also play in a doom four-piece called Flesh of the Stars). Arthhur started as a loose creative project in which Fox and Ciani could go in any stylistic direction, and their first couple albums don’t sound much like Lost in the Walled City, other than the fact that Fox and Ciani play several instruments on all three; 2016’s dour, intimate Who Needs Friends (When You Have Thoughts Like These)? borders on slowcore, and last March’s quirky, knotty Come Meet the Opposite Committee draws on art-rock and emo. To make Lost in the Walled City, Fox and Ciani recruited a new member, bassist Luke Dahlgren, and listened closely to the pivotal 1978 No New York compilation and Gang of Four’s early recordings. They emerged with tight, blistering songs that resemble dance punk in spirit but move like house and disco cuts constructed from punk blueprints—the heavenly synth melody of “Get Fermented!” feels like it could slide into a set at Smart Bar to lock dancers into a deep groove.   v