Mest performs October 17 at the Galaxy Club. Riddlin' Kids perform October 18 at the Galaxy Club.
What's worse than second-generation corporate pop-punk? Third-generation corporate pop-punk! Tell that to tattooed Chicago ne'er-do-wells Mest, who invade the Galaxy Club on Thursday, and they'll likely spit on your glasses. "The words you say I'll never listen to," they promise on "Fuct Up Kid," a spirited number on the band's latest, Destination Unknown. "'Cause if I did I'd be just like you." Funny, then, that they invite guest producer Marvin Young to enliven "Mother's Prayer" and "Cadillac" with a souped-up fake-hip-hop sheen not unlike (OK, exactly like) the kind Sugar Ray favors. (Young used to go by the name Young MC, so you know you're in experienced hands.) Austin's Riddlin' Kids, at the Galaxy on Friday, keep things realer on Hurry Up and Wait, their Aware Records debut; the songs still show their age like a 100-foot redwood--"Here We Go Again" was certainly an unfortunate title choice--but the band keeps things lean and tuneful, and they don't invite any washed-up rappers to hang out. Instead, they cover "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" and make you seriously doubt if they know who Leonid Brezhnev was. He was the bass player in Green Day, right?