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It’s been a fruitful few years for San Francisco’s garage noiseniks, but while recent albums by Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees have been loud, fast, and well-reviewed, Sic Alps has cranked a bit slower. Led by D.C. expat Mike Donovan (a brief member of The Ropers), Sic Alps continues to play snaky, Velvets-derived dirges. And four albums in, the band still has one foot in Memphis (that twang!), another in Detroit (that grit!), and its head in the Lower East Side—it takes a lot of cool not to let all that cocky tension boil to a total psychedelic freakout. The big difference this time? Higher fidelity, lighter scuzz, and—sonically speaking—far less evidence of drugs. I kind of miss those disarming brown-acid moments, but Sic Alps’ act of becoming isn’t just a matter of stripping away the grime: With one blatant nod to Jimi Hendrix and a few understated hat-tips to late-’60s Stones, a lot of these garage-rock songs sound gratifyingly classic rock. The comedown, it turns out, can be just as rewarding as the trip.
Sic Alps performs with Lorelei and Foul Swoops at 9 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. $10. (202) 364-0404. cometpingpong.com.