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Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor concentrate their shared history in Mind Maintenance

Mind Maintenance is Joshua Abrams and Chad Taylor, two musicians whose concord transcends time, distance, genre, and instrumentation. They’ve been playing together since the 1990s, when they both lived in Chicago, and their collaborative relationship has endured since Taylor headed east 20 years ago. They’ve jointly backed the likes of singer Sam Prekop and cosmic […]

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Fotocrime and the Austerity Program explore two points on the electronic-music-meets-rock spectrum

On the Jesus Lizard’s 1989 debut EP, Pure, the noise-rock institution were still figuring things out. Working as a trio, the band hadn’t yet discovered their distinctive mutant swing, instead suspending the metallic scrape and twang of their guitars in the flat, mechanical rhythms of a primitive drum machine. But drummer Mac McNeilly joined the […]

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On their debut album, Chicago’s Tobacco City get to the roots of their wistful country

Chicago country five-piece Tobacco City formed to cover Neil Young songs for a Halloween show, but thankfully they’ve since developed their own sound. Like Young, they have a way with plaintive melodies, but their music is rooted in bluesy honky-tonk and earthy, wistful country, with supple, pop-driven harmony vocals. Tobacco City’s surefire rhythm section—drummer Josh […]

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Bnny make David Lynch-ian pop music for mourning

From its first reverb-laden guitar notes, Bnny’s new Everything (Fire Talk) makes me wonder whether the Chicago band have logged some hours watching Twin Peaks. The hushed, ethereal whisper of vocalist and songwriter Jess Viscius channels dream-pop singer Julee Cruise (who sings on the show’s soundtrack), while guitarists Adam Schubert and Timothy Makowski lean into […]

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Turnstile lean into their hardcore roots for their most progressive record yet

Traditionally, when people say hardcore bands have “progressed” it means they’ve begun the slow process of abandoning the genre for something more accessible. Plenty of hardcore bands have started slipping into 90s alt-rock territory, but Baltimore’s Turnstile use their new album, Glow On, to draw out the fact that heavy radio-friendly rock was built on […]

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Chicago indie duo Orisun draw power from lo-fi rock on their debut EP

Chicago indie-rock duo Orisun indulge in their lo-fi proclivities without ever giving in to slacker entropy. On their self-released debut EP, May’s This Is Orisun, multi-instrumentalist Kai Black and front person Asha Adisa artfully employ gossamer guitars, sophisticated keys, precisely programmed percussion with dampened drums, and relaxed, alluring vocals to calibrate moods that test the […]