Drinks, Door, Anna Burch | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Drinks, Door, Anna Burch Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Fri., Oct. 23, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $12, $10 in advance
Drinks is a decidedly low-key, though seriously spontaneous partnership between Tim Presley of White Fence and Welsh transplant Cate Le Bon. And after wading through six-plus minutes of Le Bon woozily wondering, “Tim, do I like that dog?” on the meandering track of the same name—from the recent debut Hermits on Holiday (Heavenly/Birth)—I’ve decided the duo might as well be called “Drugs.” They aim for outsider primitivism, but their innate understanding of conventional melody prevents them from ever fully converting. The simple, stuttering guitar lick that opens the album, is softened by infectious acoustic-guitar strumming and Presley singing a Ray Davies-inspired melody in a faux-British accent; “Focus on the Street” embraces throbbing garage rock that, like the entire album, is notable for its sparseness. Presley and Le Bon play everything in front of minimal drumming by Nick Murray—not that “everything” is much more than a few guitars and an occasional keyboard—and ultimately it feels like the pair got together one weekend, sketched out some loose songs, and turned on the tape recorder. In most cases that wouldn’t produce anything worthwhile in the long run, but now they’re following up the album with a tour that features an actual rhythm section (drummer Dan Ward and bassist Elroy Finn). I bet this could turn into something really special.
— Peter Margasak
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