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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

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Album Wed Jul 23 2008

Darkness on the Edge of Town


Above: Locrian. Inset: Cover of Greyfield Shrines LP (Diophantine Discs)

Like a raven perched on an electrical transformer, Locrian summon elemental human dread, the type hinted at in medieval passion plays and Shakespearean dramatic interludes, but do so electrically, without the pretense of ancient wisdom or nostalgia-laden "spectral folk." The duo of Andre Foisy and Terrence Hannum stalk the barren forests (or maybe not, since the cover of their LP contains a picture of an abandoned shopping mall…"Leave the City," anyone?) with delay-laden guitars and round, full, low-end synth textures. Although their music is steeped in darkness, Locrian never condescend to the darkness, nor do they invoke it cheaply or take shortcuts to bring us there. Each summoning is done carefully, thoughtfully, and with considerable toil.

This week, Diophantine Discs releases Greyfield Shrines, the band's debut vinyl LP.

A recording of the band's performance on WHPK's "Pure Hype" live music program, Greyfield Shrines divides its single 28 minute piece over two sides of vinyl. Side one strums patiently, gathering textures and sympathetic resonances slowly, like iron filings around a magnet, accruing power from the repeated minor-key pattern. Locrian doesn't fall into the common trap of changing the whole drone in the middle for fear of the audience (or band) getting bored, wisely pumping all energies into the uncluttered structure that they set up at the beginning, making sure that every buttress of ringing feedback and each vocal filigree added serves to reinforce the central pillar of the track's theme, like a host of mourning angels wailing on e-minor. Side two, as such, only gathers more steam and is just like side one, but louder, more entrancing, more MORE. Like the long, noisy, ascending coda of Wire's "A Touching Display" (from 154), Locrian's guitars stretch and drift into eternity, billowing feedback sculpting the chords into clouds of austere malice. Rightly, the band feels no need to extend the single piece after the point at which it is naturally finished (a common practice at some drone performances, and a true sign of an amateur, or someone unwilling or unable to end when the music dictates it), ending with an economical 28 minutes of atmosphere.

While guitar and synth-driven dark drone is hardly uncharted territory these days, Locrian's focused statement provides more than disposable thrills or diminishing returns, and multiple, careful listens reveal a wealth of details seldom seen in similar records.

Tonight (July 24), the band will kick off its mini-tour at Cobra Lounge (235 N. Ashland), along with Rabid Rabbit and Animal Law. Admission is free, and the show starts at 10:00. The band will have copies of Greyfield Shrines for sale as well, or you will be able to order them soon from Diophantine Discs, or contact the band on their Myspace.

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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 »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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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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