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Earl Greyhound in the Express Lane

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 10, 2006 2:15PM

We love getting our blocks knocked off by bands we’ve never heard of. We love getting CDs in the mail from unknowns that grab us by our lapels (fully staffed by various band buttons, of course) and shake us out of the stupor that usually attends the hours-long sessions when we wade through all of the week’s new music arrivals. We love bands that sound classic while still sounding like no one else.

2006_10_earl_greyhound.jpgEarl Greyhound is one of those genre-busting bands that do it without being forced to leap into eccentricity. The trio fashions mega-rocking '70s-style smears of noise that sound fresh and exciting despite some of the retro trappings.

The group hits Double Door tonight to promote the release of their debut, Soft Targets. Matt Whyte and Kamara Thomas form the band’s nucleus, providing the dual vocals and the guitar/bass maelstrom that Ricc Sheridan’s Bonham-esque drums nail to the sweat-stained walls. Chicago residents might notice some sonic similarities to our own NYC-to-Chicago transplants Suffrajett, since both bands explore some of the same aural landscapes. But, while Suffrajett mines that whole post-punk thing and keeps it in the garage, Earl Greyhound explores the same bluesy roots and explodes them into stadium-size grandeur.

The album is a stunner, from the opening blast of “S.O.S.” through the bouncy “Back And Forth” and ending with the furious “I Am One.” The only real misstep the group makes is in including the eight-minute-plus “Monkey,” though we doubt they’ll be trotting that one out during a forty-five minute set at Double Door. We’re dying to see the group live, especially to hear the Motown-style breakdown in the midst of “All Better Now” since we predict that's just the sort of thing that might cause even jaded Chicago hipsters to fall writhing on the ground in ecstatic abandon.

You can download Earl Greyhound's "S.O.S." by right-clicking-save-as-ing here.