Some will tell you Walter Schreifels is a legend of New York hardcore. Never mind that in the 20 years since the first iteration of his band Gorilla Biscuits, his song craft has increasingly emphasized melody, with, um, the occasional deviation into metal. The title of his new, and first, solo record, An Open Letter to the Scene, sounds political, but really it’s a series of homages—he name-checks Arthur Lee and (no kidding) Lil’ Kim and covers old peers (Agnostic Front) and former collaborators (CIV). These days, he’s all about erudite ballads, slow strums, and gravelly coos—at Schreifels’ most anti-authoritarian, his material and its soft presentation are nice foils. But in his more contemplative moments, for better or worse, he kind of just sounds like the Eels.
WALTER SCHREIFELS PERFORMS WITH JOHN BUSTINE AT 8:30 P.M. AT DC9, 1940 9TH ST. NW. $10-$12. (202) 483-5000.