Call us hopelessly unhip, but we’re still captivated by No Doubt’s Rock Steady, an album whose consolidation of bubblegum dancehall, frictionless electropop, glossy new wave, and R&B jiggle captures a bigger market share than anyone since ’80s Madonna. Gwen and company swing into action at the Worcester Centrum (617-931-2000) on Sunday with Garbage and the Distillers.
Godfathers of today’s garage-punk revival, New Bomb Turks put Ohio back on the map in the early ’90s with Drunk on Cock (Engine) and Destroy Oh Boy! (Crypt), a pair of discs that drew equally on sweatbox raunch and smart-ass charm (see their " Born Toulouse Lautrec " ). A decade later, they’ve decided to quit touring and stick to making albums; their final jaunt hits the Middle East (617-864-EAST) in Cambridge on Wednesday. What we wish is that the Turks would instead quit making records and keep touring — in other words, we wish they were more like the Supersuckers, whose devilish punk, cocaine references, and AC/DC licks presaged the Hellacopters, Buckcherry, and today’s rock underground by a half decade or more. After two perfect mid-’90s albums, they’ve been gracious enough to release only one studio disc since. Never ones to skimp on the hits, they’re at the Middle East tonight (Thursday, October 17).
Meanwhile, the mantle of Turks- and ’Suckers-style raunch rock has been taken up by folks like New Jersey’s Swingin Neckbreakers, whom for a couple years we kept confusing with the Swingin’ Utters. Don’t make the same mistake. The Neckbreakers owe an awful lot to the Turks, but they add more brute Muscle (as in Shoals), plus street-shaking Johnny Thunders guitar leads. At T.T. the Bear’s Place (617-492-BEAR) in Cambridge on Friday, they step in to replace the fabulous soul-punk group the BellRays, who cancelled a planned US tour at the last minute. Neckbreakers labelmates the Greenhornes, on the other hand, are a throwback to old-school garage rock, more Sonics than Stooges, with ’60s psych-punk treble and bratty, nasal frat-rock sneer. Out in support of their new Dual Mono (Telstar), they’re at T.T.’s on Saturday and the Met Café (401-861-2142) in Providence on Sunday.
Philadelphia’s Burning Brides are currently on tour with piano-bar emo bands, but don’t let the billing fool you: the Brides’ Fall of the Plastic Empire, just reissued by V2, has some of the most searing riffology since the first Queens of the Stone Age disc, and it’s dressed up with Stoogey sleigh bells and Black Flag grit. With a seasonally correct Misfits cover under their belt, they’re at the Middle East on Tuesday and at Pearl Street (413-584-0610) in Northampton next Friday, October 25. And don’t miss Sahara Hotnights, the smoking Swedish all-girl outfit who sound like the Hellacopters going at it in the back seat with the Runaways, and whose singer may or may not be dating Hives hunk Pelle Almqvist. They’re on tour with mod clones the Mooney Suzuki, but be sure to show up early and catch Finnish burnout-rock saviors the Flaming Sideburns. That’s at the Middle East on Sunday, Pearl Street on Tuesday, and the Met Café on Wednesday.