Tir Asleen has been carrying the mantle of bands like Fugazi, Refused and Minor Threat since they formed in 2009, and has built a dedicated following on the backs of their ferocious live shows and blistering rhythms. Their own particular blend of punk fury, primal DIY ferocity and viscous guitar noise has shaken its fair share of ribcages and skulls. But that thunder and racket would fall on mostly deaf ears if the band weren’t so concerned with how those sounds connected with their audience on an emotional level-even when the decibel level is closing in on that of a 747 taking off.
What: Tir Asleen, Scenic, S W O O N and Friendship Commanders
When: Wednesday, Oct. 15, 9 p.m.
Where: 231 M.L. King Blvd.
How much: $5
But there is more to their music than just the constant punk and hardcore influences that hover above their songs. Tir Asleen works through a series of labyrinthine riffs and dynamic rhythms in order to balance their influences against their own creative drive, which results in a sound that is equal parts Drive Like Jehu and Rites of Spring (with a dozen other bands occasionally thrown in for good measure). And although it’s fairly obvious as to whom they owe their paternal musical influence, the band does manage to subvert our expectations far more often than they conform to them.
The band never sticks to any one influence or sound for very long and never seems as though they are simply retreading ground that has been covered a thousand times before. Their music has roots in a handful of genres, but it’s the way in which they transcribe these influences that allows them to twist and contort our collective assumptions in unexpected and remarkable ways. They are just as likely to sneak in a rather catchy piece of submerged melody as they are to aggressively shake you from your musical stupor.
Sharing the stage that night will be Chattanooga favorites Scenic, who’ll bring their energetic and unique brand of rock to JJ’s. With the release of their 2013 debut EP, “This Can’t Possibly Backfire,” the band went about claiming their own corner of Chattanooga’s music scene, and with their reputation growing as a can’t-miss band, Scenic is poised to continue their upward trajectory. Birthed from the remains of defunct Chattanooga pop-punk group Farethewell, the band creates music with a gut-punch ferocity, while simultaneously integrating a seamless understanding of how to keep a song swirling around in the heads of their audience for weeks. They are set to release their sophomore EP, “Run & Hide,” sometime in November.
Post-rock outfit S W O O N will also be making an appearance at JJ’s, bringing along their intricate and dynamic sense of rock construction along with them. Their skewed melodicism and surf-style distortion lend their songs a curiously affecting dramatic license and make them one of those bands that you absolutely have to see live to understand. Their music is reminiscent of a handful of other, more well-known artists such as Mogwai and This Will Destroy You but never comes off as though they’re simply imitating their influences. The dense rhythms and gauzy melodies that work their way through S W O O N’s music are indicative of a band that is far more aware of their own place in indie rock’s storied history than most of their peers.
Filling out the rest of the night will be Nashville rockers Friendship Commanders, who are led by singer/guitarist B. Arson and drummer Jerry Roe-though they’re joined by bassist Tim Marks when touring. Dishing out ferocious riffs and thundering percussive blasts, this duo (occasional trio) will find room to shake the walls at JJ’s when they take the stage alongside a remarkable collection of musicians. With the memory of their debut EP, “AMOS,” still fresh in their minds-it was released in June of last year-the band’s arena-sized melodies and hook-riddled tracks will have you nodding your head while careening back and forth within a mass of sweaty bodies in front of the stage. With such a lineup collected for just this night, there’s really no reason for you not to be pressed up close when the first band hits that stage.