Has there ever been a public outcry for more bands to merge punk-rock snarl with the vocal sway of a Morrissey-esque lounge singer? No—but that didn’t stop Chicago’s Smoking Popes from expertly delivering such strange bedfellows in the early '90s.
Led by the unconventional stewardship of lead singer Josh Caterer, the quartet debuted with that stylistic merger on 1994’s “Get Fired.” A contract with Capitol Records, a single (“Need You Around”) on the film soundtrack for “Clueless” and its critically acclaimed “Destination Failure," helped the band had carved out a cherished place with the decades’ hordes of pop punk enthusiasts.
Now back with its original lineup for the first time since 1998 (with the return of drummer Mike Felumlee joining Caterer’s brothers, Matt and Eli) and new material off its forthcoming album, the band is ready to see if it can recapture the same emotionally charged allure once deemed infectious enough to soundtrack scenes from an Alicia Silverstone movie.
And on the 20th anniversary of the release of its cherished "Failure," the timing might be just right.
Smoking Popes: 8 p.m. Oct. 20 at Mohawk Place (47 E. Mohawk St.). Chris Farren opens. Doors are at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 advance, $18 day of. (Ticketfly)