Fringe Music Preview: Chain and the Gang
Baldacchino Tent Bar – Fort Fringe
Tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Val's Take: Chain & the Gang, the sassiest band in America, has returned from their European tour, shiny blazers and funky bass lines intact, and they're touching down at Capital Fringe with the intent of showing that Minimum Rock and Roll, to cite the name of their current album, does not mean minimum enjoyment. Indeed, there's a sense of distillation in the last batch of Ian Svenonius-penned tunes. The recordings sound very stark and bare, which effectively highlights every element of the songs; no note nor beat fades into the background. Minimum Rock and Roll is also a sharp commentary on the state of society including an opener, "Devitalize," that has an anti-big development message right in tune with Capital Fringe's advertising campaign.
As this is a Svenonius-curated event, that ensures that the two other acts on the bill embody the vitality of rock and roll songs. Vermont act The Lentils doesn't have any music online, but their description of "bizarre and quirky pop with hooks," makes sense considering that Happy Jawbone, the previous project from creative leader Luke Csehak, sounds like a goofy, lo-fi trip through Wonderland soundtracked by kazoos. Meanwhile, Boston outfit Fat Creeps shows up with immediately enjoyable hooks and pleasant vocal harmonies that differentiates itself from other lo-fi surf rock acts by adding a bit of an edge, either with their lyrical content or by suddenly flying off the handle with shrieks and instantly fast riffing.
Fringe Play For Which They're The Best Fit: Will Work For. There's nothing else on the Fringe lineup short of the guerrilla advertising sign about "gentrifier's guilt" that quite matches the ideals of Minimum Rock and Roll, but this very honest if somewhat pessimistic look at the job market might come close.