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Stacks of Amps 

by JEFF ECHERT & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & here are two distinct kinds of hard-rock bands -- those that will write concept albums about Marie Antoinette, and those who wish they could. Jucifer, a coupled-duo from Athens, Georgia, is one of the former, and we should all be thankful for their decision to do whatever they hell they want and do it exceptionally well. Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood (two names that sound a bit too awesome to be real) have been playing together for 15 years. "We met and began playing music together and discovered that we were eagerly flowing together to write music," Valentine recalls. "We had the same idea to make this massive awesome range, a different kind of sound." That sound boils down to pretty much "anything goes." As Valentine puts it, "The crux of our philosophy as a band is that we do what we believe in and we feel -- we're not interested in fitting in to some preconception, because that would be an uncomfortable place for us to be."

And fit in they most certainly do not. Though terms and comparisons have been thrown at them en masse, Jucifer neatly sidesteps any accusations of plagiarism by virtue of being consistently chameleonic. Valentine's voice is a perfect fit no matter the genre the band delves into, with a PJ Harvey-like seductive quality to it that belies her ability to scream when the situation requires it of her. If you're looking to hear Meg White or Kim Gordon, you'll catch smacks of them in one or two songs, but Jucifer never really sounds like other bands - though they might remind you of one for about two minutes, just before they burst your eardrums like bubble-wrap.

Oh, yeah, Jucifer's loud. Really loud. The legends speak amplifiers stacked 10 to 15 feet high. And they really want the live show to be loud, so that the live show can be a different experience, so that "You get something special out of the live show that you don't get from the album," Valentine explains. "The only thing that we keep predictable about it is that we put everything we have into it." But she issues an understated warning: "We've collected a few bits of gear over the years. Wear earplugs, because even if it doesn't hurt, it's going to do some damage." Sage advice. But the hurt's worth it.

Jucifer with the Blakes and Meteorites Attack at the Blvd on Friday, Sept. 5, at 9 pm. $10. 21 and older. Call 455-7826.
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