Chain & the Gang, Blizzard Babies | The Owl | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Chain & the Gang

Chain & the Gang

Michael Andrade

Chain & the Gang, Blizzard Babies 

When: Thu., May 21, 10 p.m. 2015
Aside from the highfalutin’ mop of hair, the sassafrassy falsetto vocals, and the forever-underrated stylistic bravado he reps so very hard, impeccably dressed front man (and published author) Ian Svenonius remains distinctive for his loyalty to the bare bones of punk rock. This has become increasingly evident with his current project, Chain & the Gang, which instead of the noisy bombast of Nation of Ulysses or the dancy jaggedness of the Make-Up features Svenonius basking in a dusty lo-fi vibe that’s somehow more conducive to his proselytizing than either of the aforementioned D.C. bands he’s famous for having fronted. Chain & the Gang create deserts of space in which Svenonius can writhe around. And on last year’s Minimum Rock N Roll (Radical Elite) the proof is not only in the album’s title but also in a soulful, airy jam like “I’m a Choice (Not a Child)” or the strutting “Got to Have It Everyday,” which is mostly based around a single snarling, tinny guitar lick (“Fairy Dust,” the stripped-down instrumental that follows, is an easy-to-miss highlight too). Fortunately the awesome Katie Alice Greer (also of the rising Priests) returns to contribute backing vocals, but make no mistake, Chain & the Gang is still all about the swagger of Svenonius—and lord knows that never gets old to watch live. —Kevin Warwick

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