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A blog for Seattle music lovers of all stripes, from hip-hop and indie rock to jazz and world music.

Topic: Chicago

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March 25, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Reunited Owls not much to hoot about | New recordings

OwlsOwls, ‘Two’ (Polyvinyl)

Reunions aren’t often inspired by 13-year-old one-off projects, but Chicago’s Owls — whose self-titled 2001 LP was its only release until now — is back with a new album, titled, naturally, “Two.”

On the debut, the quartet, centered around brothers Mike and Tim Kinsella — of the groups American Football and Joan of Arc, respectively — updated the frenzied Midwestern emo of their first band, Cap’n Jazz, into a complex yet catchy math-pop balancing act.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Chicago, emo, math rock

October 29, 2013 at 10:46 AM

‘Memorial,’ the latest from Midwestern heavies Russian Circles | New Recordings

Russian Circles

Chicago’s Russian Circles, from left: Brian Cook, Mike Sullivan, Dave Turncrantz. Photo by Chris Strong.

Russian Circles
“Memorial”
(Sargent House)

Hailing from Chicago, Russian Circles plays brooding instrumentals that combine post-rock’s cinematic scope with doom metal’s sonic heft — instrumetal, if you will.

Like a Windy City winter, the trio’s sound is rugged and austere, its work ethic intense. “Memorial,” out Tuesday, is its fifth LP since forming nine years ago.

On 2009’s “Geneva” and 2011’s “Empros,” bassist Brian Cook (formerly of Seattle’s Botch), guitarist Mike Sullivan and drummer Dave Turncrantz ably balanced dissonant chug and deep, melancholic tones. But with “Memorial,” the band doesn’t forge ahead so much as go, well… in circles.

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Comments | More in Rock/Pop | Topics: Chicago, instrumental, New Recordings