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When It Rains It Pours

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 14, 2006 7:13PM

2007_07_ladiesandgentlemen.jpgThis weekend sees not one, but two debut releases from two prominent local bands. Both records have been years in the making, both have been floating around in some form or another for quite a while, and both are much anticipated. Both bands look a bit into the past for some of their inspiration but both groups ultimately aim to create rock that rolls.

Chicagoist has long enjoyed The Ladies & Gentlemen and has observed the group from its nascent form as a glam inspired new-wave combo up through its current guise as a powerhousing, hook-filled behemoth. They celebrate the release of their first album with a show at Double Door tonight with aural aesthetically compatriots The Assembly. Expect short, taut pop songs that zip by in rapid succession and draw the sweat from the walls to form a downpour over the crowd.

The second new release this weekend comes from Assassins, a group marked by contradictions as sonic sweetness gets peppered by atonal counterpoints. The musical surface shines with an electronic coolness that dazzles, but at their core the songs sound bolted down by a grimy organicism. It’s almost as if everything was recorded with state of the art gear that was located in a dripping subterranean cavern housing broken-down pieces of old robots and a slightly psychotic supercomputer or two.

2007_07_assassins.jpgThis is all just a fancy way of saying that the songs sound perfectly imperfect. While the music is forward thinking and challenging, the compositions are also all perfectly constructed pop tunes that would sound just as home on an acoustic guitar as they do within their recorded cocoon of beats, buzzes and whirs. The secret weapon that elevates all of this beyond the pale are the dual lead vocals of Joe Cassidy and Merritt Lear as their voices combine the characteristics of honey and razor blades to create something that ultimately cuts deeply and stays buried with the listener long after the final notes of the album have trailed off.

The debut, titled You Will Changed Us, distills their live show with crystalline assuredness and ads an extra dimension to many of the songs that have been circulating in demo form. We have been told, though, that the European release of the disc will be re-mixed with different tracking and artwork, so make sure you get this version while you still can. Judging by this news we wouldn’t be surprised if each of the EU version songs released as singles will be done so in three CD versions with different b-sides, two DVDs with even more different b-sides and a cassingle with an exclusive non-album, non-b-side. And we’ll buy every one.

The band is hosting a listening party tomorrow night at The Lakeview Broadcasting Company