Chicago’s Longface builds on Radiohead’s dreams for alt-rock | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Chicago’s Longface builds on Radiohead’s dreams for alt-rock 

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Natalie Escobedo

It’s hard to calculate the number of woeful musicians who count Radiohead as a direct influence, but the ones who are actually able to capture the unnerving quality of the UK group’s alt-rock in their own voice are few and far between. Chicago’s Longface get that ricocheting melodies and roller-coaster falsetto can only go so far; that it takes a sense of direction, a little bit of guts, and a lot of individual personality to be anything more than a derivative of their influences. On their recent debut full-length, Hillbilly Wit, which guitarist Glenn Curran released on the label he cofounded, Sooper Records, the band marks its own territory. Front man Anthony Focareto oozes personality, and his Kentucky roots show in the easygoing vocal lilt and nimble acoustic guitar-picking that anchor the quasi-symphonic opener, “Crescent Moon.” The group’s taste for unusual musical detours fills the album with vitality; the feral lounge melody on “Crime Jazz”—which sounds like it was left to mutate in total darkness—is just one of many curveballs that enliven the record. Tonight Longface celebrate their LP with a belated release show.   v


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