In the early 2000s, The Letter Openers were one of Los Angeles' most promising bands, slugging out hard-rocking riffs paired with smart, sarcastic lyrics and anti-pop choruses that were nonetheless rousingly anthemic. Singer-guitarist Mac Dunlop's self-lacerating lyrics positioned him as a legitimate counterpart to Alex Chilton and Paul Westerberg. "I don't wanna be a god, I don't wanna be a geek, I don't wanna walk around like any old freak," he sang above the surging riffs of "Peppermint." Then, just as quickly as they came out of nowhere, The Letter Openers disappeared without explanation, which makes this unexpected comeback a precious opportunity to rediscover this underrated group. They should be a good match with headliners Honeychain, as singer-guitarist Hillary Burton (The Pandoras) confides endearing power-pop songs like "Great Big World," whose tuneful hooks are powered with a punk drive. Plus, Soraia and John Gregory.
The Viper Room, 8852 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; Thurs., April 18, 8 p.m.; $8. (310) 358-1881, www.viperroom.com.
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