Local Licks 

This week we review Elliot Randall & the Deadmen, Pine & Battery, For Fear the Hearts of Men Are Failing, and Veil Veil Vanish.

Elliot Randall & the Deadmen, Caffeine & Gasoline. Transplanted Southern boy Elliot Randall makes charming Americana. With classic three-part harmonies, country twang, and subtle rock elements, Caffeine & Gasoline sounds deeply authentic. Like most country, lyrically it's depressing stuff, but in a way anyone can empathize with. (self-released)

At Cafe Du Nord (2174 Market St., San Francisco) on March 6. 9 p.m., $12

Pine & Battery, 2. Lovely, gentle indie-rock dominates Pine & Battery's sophomore release. With skillful musicianship and solid songwriting, this is a step forward from its first release, but doesn't abandon its previous musical style. Frontman Jeff Campbell's melodic, pretty vocals tie the whole thing together and help Pine & Battery stand out in a sea of other bands. (self-released)

At Grant & Green (1371 Grant Ave., San Francisco) on March 5. 10 p.m., free

For Fear the Hearts of Men Are Failing, City Music. This relatively unknown local band can really play. Although it may be a little twangy for some tastes, those who like this sort of folk/country/blues hybrid will love City Music. The three members play not only guitar but also banjo, harmonium, mandolin, and Tahitian ukulele. Pleasantly rootsy, charmingly sincere, and competently done. (self-released)

At El Rio (3158 Mission St., San Francisco) on March 3. 8 p.m., $5

Veil Veil Vanish, Change in the Neon Light. Though it sounds like an old-school British indie band, Veil Veil Vanish hails from San Francisco. The band owes more than a little sonic debt to Joy Division, among others. Not that that's a bad thing — in fact, this is an exceptional debut. Songwriting is skillful, production is tight and clean, and there isn't a bad song on the album. (Metropolis Records)

At Popscene (330 Ritch St., SF) on March 4. 10 p.m., $8-$10


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