Iron Chic Credit: nicole guglielmo

Iron Chic’s songs move with the exhausted triumph of an Olympic athlete who’s completed the 100m butterfly race with cement blocks attached to her arms and legs. Weight is imprinted in the music; the guitars heave skyward, the rhythm section perilously pushes forward, and front man Jason Lubrano’s burly vocals muscle their way through charged instrumentals. The band’s third album, the recent You Can’t Stay Here (SideOneDummy), is anchored by loss. As Lubrano told Uproxx in September, the album reflects, among other things, the end of a long-term relationship and the 2016 death of former Iron Chic guitarist Rob McAllister. Despite these personal themes, the darkened bruises of You Can’t Stay Here feel apt for our time; we’re confronting an unusual (even for our country) rash of mass murders at the hands of white terrorists, the quiet dissolution of the EPA and seemingly any Obama-era policies, and a president who’s managed to continue to hold his position in the Oval Office despite what appears to be complete incompetence, among the many other issues that riddle whatever it is that rests between his ears. It’s hard not to relate to the opening lines of “My Best Friend (Is a Nihilist)”: “It’s hard to be a human being / How can we?” As Iron Chic shows, part of being human is learning how to deal with the worst parts of ourselves and our lives.   v