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Wednesday, December 11

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Transmission
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Concert Wed May 14 2008

Prairie Spies @ the Empty Bottle

Prairie Spies.jpg

Late last year, I got unexpectedly punched in the mouth by a little EP called Bridget Quits, a five-song rock’n’roll assault from local band the Sharks, that sounded like Weezer and Pavement had sex and this was their five-headed monster. Rather than sounding completely derivative, though, the Sharks offered a fresh take on time-honored material, a loose, chaotic, boozy assemblage tackling the truly important subjects (drugs and girls). A few months later, after the lawyers got to them and they holed up tearfully in their parents’ basement (okay, I made that last part up), the Sharks are now the Prairie Spies and they’re set to drop their very first full length, available from newish local label Comptroller Records.

Surplus Enjoyment picks up right where the previous record left off. Despite the name change, not a damn thing about band’s aesthetic has been altered, and that’s just fine by me. They play fierce and fun goodness that is simultaneously raw and overtly poppy, and songs like “Unresolved Anatomy” and “Who’s Been Gettin’ High” delight with pleasing hilarity. It’s “Iowa”, though, that takes the treasured prize, a balance of fuzzed-out guitars and kitschy keyboards with shout-along vocals that soar snarl howl and lyrics that tend toward dryly ironic with just a dose of savagery. This ode to our neighbors to the West finds the Spies at their very best, not reaching but playing comfortably to their strengths and loving every second of it. While a few tracks falter (most notably, their Clash rip-off, “Vigilante”), Surplus Enjoyment is by and large a terrific and accomplished record, and will receive consistent summer rotation in the library of at least one fan (though I suspect there’s more than just me out in the wilderness).

The Prairie Spies take the stage at the on Friday for a kickin’ record release party. Opening are dreamy boy-girl combo (and Comptrollin’ label mates), the Spectacles, and Cincinnati band Bad Veins. The Killer Whales headline. Show start at 10pm.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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