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TONITE: South To Rise Again

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Southern rock-and-roll may have started with Skynyrd, but thankfully it didn’t end there, and some bands with down-home roots have got enough passion and polish to make “Sweet Home Alabama” sound downright sour. Tennessee’s Kings of Leon are the current, well, kings of the region’s rock, with a couple albums’ worth of delightfully scuzzy boogie topped with an aching drawl. At the other end of the spectrum of what Dixie can dish out is the arty, inscrutable jangle of Athens, Georgia’s REM, who add space to their riffs where other acts add swagger. Fresh out of Atlanta, The Modern Society occupy a curious spot on this continuum. They’ve got loads of hack-and-slash riffs, but they seem haunted rather than hot-to-trot; the word “ghost” crops up in their lyrics so often it’s almost eerie. What died and came back from the grave? Is it Rebel heritage? The promise of the New South? Elvis and Ronnie Van Zant? Not my place to say — I’m a Yankee at heart. I can tell this band’s taken it out of garage but kept the grit. A less-cool but still-valid comparison would be to the “Jed” and “Superstar Car Wash”-era Goo Goo Dolls: the chops to tear up a small club, but the polish that could pack arenas one day. Catch ‘em while they’re creepin’ North, but hopefully not like kudzu. That shit’s hard to get rid of. – DAVE ALLEN

The Modern Society at the Khyber, with The London Victory Club and Ja’c tonight, 8 pm. $8, 21+

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