Shortly after the haunting animalistic howls and whooping start, the heavy fuzz guitars of Brett Lyman and the sludge of Chris Sutton’s bass slam into your ears — and thus begins your introduction to the angry world of Chain & the Gang.
On their newest release, In Cool Blood, Ian Svenonius’s cantankerous snarl and Katie Alice Greer’s flippant delivery complement each other as they serve up a heaping helping of their “we don’t give a damn” rock n’ roll. They channel Iggy Pop and the MC5 on “Hunting For Love” and “Surprise Party,” which are full of crunchy guitars and thumping rhythms as drummer Fiona Campbell lays down the backbeat. On “Nuff Said” they employ an exorbitant amount of words to let us know that they have said enough and are done talking about it — what that is I am not sure, but the tune is catchy. They let us know on “I’m Not Interested (In Being Interested) Pt.1” that they are not really interested in anything but themselves, and to get that point across they follow that track up with a part two. A shining example of their snarky attitudes is “Free Will.” Among the blistering guitars they preach about nothing being free, even if it says it is.
In Cool Blood is an impressive display of music from all involved. The lyrics are smart and catchy, even if they come across as a bit sarcastic, and the band is tight as they harness the rawness of their instruments, employing as much fuzz and noise as possible. This album is a must-listen, and it may be one of the better releases of 2012.
(K Records, PO Box 7154, Olympia, WA 98507)