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James Chunga, who you may know as the bassist from another Chicago band, So Pretty, has released a solo album under the name Grumble. Tough Times on Oakwood Demos, released this month, is funky, folk punk that warrants your full attention, because the songs are just so damn pleasant to listen to both in the musical quality and witty lyricism.
Ironically, one reason his sound is so unique is that it revitalizes older components of folk punk. A lot of the themes of introspection, battling demons, and finding meaning in an unraveling life are themes that gave folk punk so much traction as a rallying point for the disenfranchised from The Pogues to Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains.
If you have not heard of the Chicago band No Men, truly I weep for you. This band relocated from Texas and has done a lot in the years since they’ve been on the scene.
This three-piece act is angry, femme-fronted, vocal supporters of LGBTQ, and are just fantastic artists with a unique sound. Preferably you’ll pause reading this, and listen up on their discography so that you can fully appreciate the importance of their new release, Cut, with Let’s Pretend Records.
This newest release is right on trajectory for our hopes and expectations. Consistent with the sound we know and love, Cut is characterized by a driving percussive pace and diverse melodies. It’s a two track cut and both songs hit that happy balance between aggression, tongue-in-cheek, and empowerment.
by Josh Friedberg
[Read Part One]
After releasing the best-selling album ever, Thriller, in 1982, the expectations for Michael Jackson’s success were understandably high. So by lots of different measures, 1987’s Bad was inevitably a disappointment, but it also showed Jackson’s growth as a songwriter and an artist.
On Thriller, Jackson wrote four songs out of nine, whereas on Bad, he wrote nine songs out of eleven. And despite the clunky and very dated production, Jackson’s voice, though more strained than on Thriller, performs well throughout, especially on ballads like “Man in the Mirror” and “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You,” a duet with Siedah Garrett. He sounds rougher from the get-go, bragging about his edginess on the opening title track and sounding hellbent on obtaining his object of desire on “The Way You Make Me Feel,” a standout hit from the album.
Since they first left their rural birthplace of Cavan, Ireland earlier in this decade, the Strypes have had a lot going for them. Their work is consistently praised by the likes of rock royalty such as Jeff Beck, Roger Daltrey, Alice Cooper, Lenny Kravitz and many others.
They’re gearing up to support Paul Weller and Liam Gallagher for UK dates on their solo tours, and most recently, they’re back with a third studio album Spitting Image, released last June. Although it’s their third studio album, it’s their second record out in the USA due to issues with their previous label that kept their second studio album Little Victories from being made available in America except on Import.
T’was Friday the 13th and all through Chicago, punks eagerly awaited the cobwebby and spooky releases from every band with a Halloween fascination. But now that “Release Christmas” has passed, it’s time to appreciate those that rose to the occasion. The Eradicator, a Chicago-based punk band, delivered a treat that spooky night, with a full length album in The Eradicator (self-titled), released through the label Stonewalled.