Music » Critics' Choices

Sunset Black

Thursday, February 20, at El Torreon.

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Remember Sunset Black? No? According to the band's bio, the quartet formed in 1998, when its members were high school students in the Kansas City area. Its local gigs didn't earn the following that the original Puddle of Mudd once commanded, but otherwise the bands' stories are strikingly similar. Both outfits attracted the ears of artists infamous for rap-rock atrocities. (POM found Fred Durst; Sunset Black buddied up with Nonpoint guitarist Andrew Goldman.) Both promptly toured with nü-metal mainstays despite sounding more like slightly updated '70s arena fodder. There's one notable difference between these lighter lofters: POM sold millions, but Sunset Black's 2002 debut, Common Ground, remains shrouded in relative darkness. But even though they're not quite returning as conquering hometown heroes, Sunset Black's members should be able to call upon their remaining KC connections -- and the area's ever-fertile tear-dampened soil, which produces a bumper crop of emo enthusiasts each year -- to produce a decent draw. There's another reason to check out this show: Thousandaire (pictured). Will Meeks writes short songs with clever, conversational lyrics, which means that even if he never strikes a chord with the Ozzfest set, he should have little difficulty developing a fanbase that would rather muse about broken hearts than break stuff.

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