Given their high-profile success, it's inevitable that any two-person, guitar/drums duo arriving on the scene these days draws comparisons to the White Stripes and the Black Keys, so in what may be an effort to head that off at the pass, Chicago's Black Birdies drop the former name as the first on their list of influences (though the second is, oddly, missing). But it's another group that the duo soundchecks which provides a much more accurate sonic comparison: the mighty Jucifer.
Guitarist/vocalist Camilo Peƒ±a and drummer Matt McGuire hit with the barely controlled fury and non-stop aggression of the best speed-metal bands, while hosing down every element of their sound, vocals included, with buckets of compression and distortion, with the result‚ that rollicking anthems such as "House of Time," "My Obsession (Just What I Need)," and "Fire in My Eyes" -- all streaming on the group's MySpace page -- sound like the work of 20 headbangers, never mind a mere two.
Loud as they are, these boys seem surprisingly shy -- there are no pictures of the group on MySpace or its official Web page -- but who cares what they look like when they sound this intense? And you can always find out when they perform live at the Elbo Room, 2871 N. Lincoln, as part of the I Am Fest Battle of the Bands. (The cover is $8; more info available here.)