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Eiffel Tower Has That Certain 'Je Ne Sais Quoi'

By Lizz Kannenberg in Arts & Entertainment on Nov 5, 2010 6:40PM

eiffel.jpg Photo Credit: Andrew Steiner Photography

Our friends over at Chicago music blog Simplesinger have been raving about the hometown gents in Eiffel Tower for months, but until recently we didn't grasp the true genius behind the haphazard production and deftly constructed, contagious melodies. Audiophiles won't get the obviously basement-quality recording of their recent self-titled EP, but that's part of the charm. Anyone looking for refuge from the overly self-indulgent "indie rock" that's been oozing out of the Near West Side for far too long will surely find themselves clapping along to jaunty, irreverent tunes like "Billy Joel" and "Vicky."

Formed by three friends ("Peter, Matthew and sometimes Alex") interested in how music can interpret psychological states, Eiffel Tower plucks the best and most unselfconscious turns from early movement college rockers like Pavement, The Feelies, Apples in Stereo, The Flaming Lips and Superchunk. The lyrics, simple on the surface, are self-deprecating and deceptively smart ("I made you a mixtape, you said it's not the '90s/I threw rocks at your window, you said it's not the '80s"). Themes of crappy relationships with girls and robots, the front and back ends of psychosis and life's harder decisions are brought to life by the brain-infesting sense of timing and wicked melodic ear cocaine.

If you haven't heard of these guys, it's probably because you don't know someone who is friends with them - they aren't the most self-promoting band out there. But luckily they're starting to let their kind of weird magic loose on our fair city, so catch them while they're ripening.

Download the full EP here.

Eiffel Tower plays with Black Taxion Tuesday, November 9, at Double Door, 1572 N Milwaukee, 8:30 p.m., $8, 21+