Patty Hurst Shifter isn't resting on the merits and praises of Too Crowded on the Losing End, their excellent sophomore album from last year. Instead, they've just released Fugitive Glue, the first of three limited-edition EPs they plan to unveil by Christmas through their own Pants on Fire imprint. It's part of a strategy to keep their name in front of both the public and the record labels they're pursuing for their next full-length, which drummer Skillet Gilmore says should be out by the summer of 2008.
Fugitive Glue builds on Too Crowded well, the double-guitars and harmonies of Marc E. Smith and J. Chris Smith etching out rangy, open-vista hooks over insistent rhythms courtesy of Gilmore and bassist Jesse Huebner (who makes his session debut with PHS here). Appropriately, the disc finds its click in the middle with "Life is Mostly Waiting," which teases at sad-eyed ballad sulking before building into a chorus with smart complementary guitars ricocheting off careful harmonies and into a driving bridge. "Safe and Sound" is one of the smartest arrangements in the PHS catalogue, an acoustic guitar sweeping beneath three-part harmonies and graceful organ work that reflects both the band's experience working with former Face Ian McLagan on their last LP and a more dynamic Shifter. There's a thick, reverent cover of Neil Young's "Mr. Soul," and a live cut of one of the band's least notable tracks (excepting its name, "Experienced Bar Band Seeks Situation") from The Pour House. When the third EP is released later this year, all three will subsequently be repackaged together and resold as a small-run box set. For more, see www.pattyhurstshifter.com. —Grayson Currin
The Brewery has had a big month. First, Yearling slammed the Hillsborough Street space for its CD release show, followed by weekend-long packed houses on consecutive nights with a birthday party for the club itself and one for Tragic Hero Records, one of the labels that's made The Brewery its home. This Friday, the rock continues with Holiday Avenue, a different sort of Raleigh hardcore group than either Double Negative or Cross Laws (look right). For Holiday Avenue, hardcore is such an umbrella term: Their Web site lists shoegaze as a primary style. One minute, you might believe they're covering a Blood Brothers song, but before you can change your mind, they present a vortex of grinding guitar riffs in a sea of headbangers. Hillsborough's The Lineage plays as well, bringing along vocalist Leighton Lopez's scathing voice. Also, Gabriella Cutthroat, Dead Arsenal and Sibyl Vane. Oscar Wilde is not on the bill. Tickets are $7 and $9 if you're under 21. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. —Bennett Campbell