Del Amitri/Gin Blossoms | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Del Amitri/Gin Blossoms 

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The friendly and melodic Scottish foursome Del Amitri traffic in a throwbacky, uncomplicated pop rock from an earlier time; the slight lilt in singer Justin Currie's voice and the sometimes jaunty instrumentation remind me strongly of the Sanford/Townsend Band's "Smoke From a Distant Fire." Currie's songs are always serviceable, and sometimes--like on a lot of 1990's Waking Hours and rather less of the new Change Everything--they can pass for serious writing. Lyrically it's all rather substandard Darkness-era Springsteen, but Currie's unburdened delivery removes any hint of portentousness, and the bond's sprightliness smooths out any wrinkles. The band was a little colorless last time through, but word is they've since been toughened up on the road. Gin Blossoms are a somewhat disheveled outfit from Tempe, Arizona. Most of the band writes, but they still manage to keep the melodies and the chiming, sometimes raging guitars consistent. For some reason I think of the band as a bunch of fuck-ups: they're sweaty, chaotic, occasionally sublime onstage, but you always suspect you'll never hear of these guys again. It's all fine if you like that sort of stuff. I do. Thursday, September 24, 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield; 472-0449.

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