Download Then See: Gibraltar

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 5, 2013 6:20PM

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Aaron Starkey is an ex-Chicagoan who moved out west to work for The Man and then redirected his life towards the land of indie. By day he works as online manager for KEXP and by night he plays guitar in a couple of bands, the newest of which, Gibralter, is coming through town. The band is rounded out by drummer Jeff Gall, pianist Holly Houser, and bassist Barb Hunter (who has also played cello with Afghan Whigs and Visqueen).

Their debut Storms offers a sampling of the group's work, and Starkey's strong tenor provides a unique focus, working like an undulating sine wave that occasionally spikes and breaks with raw passion. It's as if he's fighting to control himself and occasionally just gives in and explodes. The music is built outward from the feeling, like a tightly coiled snake the songs increase the tension and then expand outward in moments of release. This is an extremely tight musical unit that also knows when to pull back the virtuosic heroics and just get sloppy with feeling.

The band makes their Chicago debut tomorrow at Beat Kitchen. In advance of that, you can listen to and download their debut here, but you get an immediate stream (and download) one of our favorite tracks from the EP, "Everything's Different," below.

Gibraltar plays tomorrow, June 6, at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 8 p.m., $8, 21+