At their invigorating best, as on the rollicking "See Her Dead" or the anthemic "Sinners on a Sunday," the Chicago quartet TAxi offers yet another take on that never-gets-old brand of tuneful Midwestern garage punk, with a focus on melody that barely (just barely) contains the chaos threatening to erupt. Other times, as on "Chinatown," the band plays it a bit too safe, and the polish veers dangerously close to Dave Matthews Band territory. Thankfully, those moments are in the minority.
The current lineup of guitarist-vocalist Brian Petzel, bassist Toby Merrick, drummer Jacob Fawcett and keyboardist Paul Solans recently recorded a new self-titled EP, the follow-up to the earlier "One Night with Me," downstate at Pieholden Suites, the studio owned by the late Jay Bennett, and touches of Wilco circa "Summerteeth" mix nicely with the more discordant guitar eruptions. The group celebrated that disc with a record release party at the Bottom Lounge last month, but keep an eye on it Web sites, www.taxirocks.com and www.myspace.com/taxirockschicago, for upcoming dates, or visit for a free download of the new sounds now.