Julie Ruin, Puff Pieces | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Puff Pieces

Puff Pieces

CHRIS GRADY

When: Thu., July 14, 8:30 p.m. 2016
Price: $20-$25
D.C. postpunk trio Puff Pieces are Dadaists to a fault. Their springtime debut, Bland in D.C. (Lovitt), cuts deep into urban gentrification and milquetoast modernity through lyrics that are equal parts agitprop absurdism and witty self-awareness. (The album title is, after all, a clear riff on Bad Brains’ iconic Banned in D.C.) Blunt, brief screeds play in tandem with a minimalist postpunk clomp that moves with cartoonish elegance; every note lands with a noticeable thump, serrated guitars puncture the air and augment the manic motorik pulse, and front man Mike Andre’s taut, softly adenoidal vocals exude an irrepressible anxiety. Bland in D.C. isn’t for everyone, and that’s the point. Even the most cloying moments manage to get the band’s messages across effectively—you don’t have to like the songs to appreciate where Puff Pieces are coming from. The criticisms of conspicuous consumption on the speedy, deranged “Object Accumulation” are all the more exacting because of their methods.
— Leor Galil
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