There’s a chart somewhere on the Internet that gives Christian “equivalents” for popular rock bands: if you like the Foo Fighters, try Seven Day Jesus; if it’s Pearl Jam you crave, try Plankeye. The Seattle group Pedro the Lion isn’t on the list, but it should be: its debut album, It’s Hard to Find a Friend (Made in Mexico), is a better Sebadoh album than the new Sebadoh album. Front man David Bazan, who used to play drums in a band with Sub Pop artist Damien Jurado, is obviously enamored of Lou Barlow’s mopey rhythms and pretty melodies, and like Barlow he’s got some wistful zingers in his arsenal, like “The breakfast cereal talked more than you did all day long.” Jesus comes up a lot, but quite a few of the songs come off more moralistic than religious–and some come off just plain weird. “When They Really Get to Know You They Will Run” is a sarcastic ditty about the pressure on girls to make themselves sexy at an early age: “Junior high legs, blond hair gone brown from removing it / Waxing since 13, wisdom from a beauty queen.” And in the seemingly earnest “Big Trucks,” for instance, a father sings to his son about road rage: “There’s real people in those big, big trucks / That you flip off when they get in your way / You get so hot, but you pay no mind / To the great big sign that says ‘oversize load’ / Do you really think they can go as fast as you in your ’87 Trans Am? / They know you’re in such a terrible rush / But they’re going just as fast, as fast as they can.” If this music thing doesn’t work out, Bazan could have a bright future at Highlights. Wednesday, 9 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport; 773-525-2508. PETER MARGASAK

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.