City Paper is not for tourists
Jukebox the Ghost has been making theatrical, brainy piano rock since its three members met at George Washington University more than a decade ago, but the band’s self-titled 2014 album, its fourth, is its most cohesive statement of purpose to date. Gone are the apocalyptic lyrical turns and hyperactive melodies that peppered earlier releases; the band makes an amiable appeal to the mainstream by sanding down its edges and putting its upbeat hooks front and center. “Sound of a Broken Heart” and “Made For Ending” kick off the album with infectious choruses that’ll remain in your head long after they’re gone, and later on, Ben Thornewill’s cathartic crooning on “Hollywood” recalls past Jukebox the Ghost songs that deftly straddled the line between indie pop and post-Rent rock musicals. While lead single “The Great Unknown” sounds like it could play under car commercials for years to come, it’s about time the band’s well-crafted earworms connected with a wider audience. Jukebox the Ghost performs with Little Daylight and Secret Someones at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $18. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.