RUSSIAN CIRCLES, HELMS ALEE, KEN MODE
(Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell) In 2012, the Juno Award's first-ever Heavy Metal/Hard Music Album of the Year went to KEN Mode's Entrench. As something like the Canadian version of the Grammys, the Junos have already flexed infinitely more metal cred than the Academy. The Grammys famously gave Jethro Tull the first Best Metal Award over Metallica, but the last three winners have been Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest, all great bands whose best work is more than 20 years old. With KEN Mode, we have a very good metallic hardcore band in the AmRep noise-rock mold who happen to be putting out very good albums right now. They're opening a bill for Russian Circles and Helms Alee, bands that likely need little introduction, each with worthwhile new albums—Memorial and Sleepwalking Sailors, respectively. MATTHEW W. SULLIVAN
GREYLAG, YOURS, LUZ ELENA MENDOZA AND NICK DELFFS
(Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside) Portland-based Greylag sounds like the soundtrack to one of those indie film montage scenes where a gaggle of photogenic twentysomethings decide to take a weekend getaway. More specifically, Greylag has that earthy Northwest bluegrass sound that's full of down-homey-ness. It would appear they've only been around a few years, but their orchestration is surprisingly tight and developed. Greylag's vocals sound like a hybrid of many familiar singers, but are undeniably pure and unaffected, and I can understand what the fuck the singer's singing, unlike so many other indie singers that always sound like they're chewing Skoal. Expect very sweet songs that will make you want to head to the coast for the weekend. ROSE FINN
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