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Highly Anticipated Local Records (Non-Smith Westerns Edition)

By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 11, 2011 6:20PM

Bloodiest Photo via Facebook

January 2011 hasn’t even reached its halfway point yet, but Chicago is already putting itself on the musical map for the entire year. Next week, highly anticipated efforts from well-regarded local acts Smith Westerns and Disappears are set into the wild, while rapper Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco are repping for the city’s hip-hop scenes with new upcoming efforts. In short, it’s a good time to be a Chicago music fan. As a kick-off, we figured we’d go through our most anticipated local albums for 2011.

Bloodiest - Descent (Relapse Records)

When does it come out? Spring 2011, according to the band’s Facebook page and Blabbermouth.

Why you should give a damn: Because Chicago is becoming increasingly renowned for its forward-thinking metal bands that melodically wield both eclecticism and brutality in equal doses. Bloodiest, a veritable who’s-who of the local music scene, accomplishes this goal in spades. The septet marries tight, guitar-based riffs with more out-there instrumental passages in songs that prove that not all who wander sonic landscapes are lost. Descent, the band’s debut effort, will hopefully put the band at the top of the local metal class.

What else you should check out if you dig it: Unrelenting, with a mix of thrash virtuosity and doom-y, noise-intensive atmospherics, quintet Indian’s upcoming fourth full-length Guiltless (which the band announced last month via MySpace) should be a promising listen to local metalheads once it drops on April 12th. Also, Bloodiest frontman Bruce Lamont’s solo effort, the appropriately titled for 2011 Feral Songs For The Epic Decline, is available for pre-order now .


The Eternals - Approaching The Energy Field (Addenda Records)

When does it come out? February 15

Why you should give a damn: Forget the Uptown Theatre: How about wither The Eternals? The Damon Locks and Wayne Montana-formed group that rose out of Trenchmouth haven’t put out a full-length since 2007’s Heavy International. But that record’s soulful, danceable fusion of dub, funk and punk is a mix we’re still jonesin’ for, as cuts like “The Mix Is So Bizarre” and “Patch of Blue” equally messed with our hips and our heads. So last fall’s news that Addenda Records is co-releasing the next Eternals record with Brazilian label Submarine Records was delightful information indeed. Recent material posted on the group’s MySpace suggests a more formless, electronic-influenced direction. But, no matter what, the new songs should be just as intoxicating and exciting as their more rhythmic material.

What else should you check out if you dig it: We’re not sure. Damned if there’s another band that sounds like The Eternals.


Hot Machines - TBA (In The Red records)

When does it come out? Summer 2011, according to the Chicago Reader.

Four years for a new Eternals record is chump change compared to the seven that fans of Hot Machines have had to wait for their record. Of course, when your band members go on to head groups like White Mystery and The Ponys, complaining about this fact seems moot. Still, the fact that Alex White, Jered Gummere and Matt Williams haven’t recorded an official full-length yet seems like a travesty. As of this summer, that travesty will be corrected. And faces everywhere will be officially, totally rocked off by way of the magically catchy garage-rock that these three specialize in. Rock.

What else should you check out if you dig it: Radar Eyes, the garage-gazers with a surprisingly moody depth, are set to release an album this summer on Hozac. Rambunctious, shambolic rockers Mickey are also set to drop a debut full-length on Hozac sometime this year. Finally, epic concept garage-rockers VeeDee will release their self-titled album on the newly-formed Boulevard Records in February.


Pet Lions - Houses

When does it come out? It’s streaming entirely now via the band’s Bandcamp page, which also states a release date of March 1. Hurray for time travel?

Why you should give a damn: Because every once in a while, you just need a well-written, thoughtful and tuneful indie-rock record to cleanse the musical palate. Pet Lions’ Houses is that record. Houses touches on Sonic Youth’s more somber, melodic-but-noisy side (“The English Room,” “Trinidad”) while making room for romantic new wave (“Slow Wave”) and lounge-pop (“Sleeping”). The result is a powerful, poppy album that is easy-going and easy to listen to (without being easy listening, of course). 2011 is going to be very good for Chicago bands indeed--for Pet Lions especially.

What else should you check out if you dig it: As we reported, indie-rock vets Kid, You’ll Move Mountains are recording their second album aiming for a summer release; Sad Brad Smith is also working on a new album aimed for a release this year.