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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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Album Sun May 09 2010

Album Review: Sonoi. Plus CD Release Show 5/14


Don't put Chicago band Sonoi in a box. There isn't a check for them. When listening to the band's debut self titled album more than a few genres flow to mind. Coming from an already rich musical background the band contains Adam Busch and Ryan Hembrey of Manishevitz. They continued the musical relationship adding drummer Pierce Doerr. Together they made an album that could be a soundtrack to a really cool film. The sounds they create are as diverse and complex as life itself and looks beyond the confines of particularity.

They went with what they do naturally and made some sweet music. You really have to respect a band with the confidence to make music that isn't single genre minded. Although there is merit to sticking to something that defines you and who you are, there is also something nice about getting a wide range of influences within many textures. Sonoi has a sound so milk and honey rich you feel you could bathe in it.

Blending elements of noise along with common musical structure they created songs piece by piece with lyrics being purely ornamental in the cascade of sound that the band produces. You hear sleigh bells in one song and twisted effects manipulation of a stress ball being worked at the end of a slightly Television sounding song called "Eva Baton" that sounds like wind chimes.

The opening track "Red Ants" starts out like very gentle, almost spa music like and then blends in to a soft explosion of reverb-licious vocals and rhythmic drumming all being led by a comforting guitar line. The experiment in sound continues with the next song, "Clouds" which begins with tapping on what sounds like metal pipes. Strong guitars join in along with gentle vocals that provide a stabilizing factor through all the different elements.

Just when you thought you were in the middle of enjoying pure experimental music the band throws a what factor and gives us lovely pop with "Sherry Fall". Other fun tracks that measured in the same catchy hooks were "Eva Baton" and "The Cat And The Barbie".

"Anchor Tattoo" is the stand out track on this album with 11 minutes of atmospheric bliss. If you want to take a time out after a busy day or just need to leave your body for a little bit this song is highly recommended for all your disassociation needs. I tried to count all the different sounds I heard in this song until I just had to succumb to it.

The album ends with "Friends In Dry Places" an anxiety provoking instrumental track that very quietly blows your mind. This was a great track to end the album with pure post rock. It could be interpreted as an ode to the very Chicago sound, but I believe that they were just making music they thought sounded awesome, and if this is the case, I can't help but to agree.

You can check out the band when they play a CD release show this Friday at the Empty Bottle. David Daniell and The Lonesome Organist join in on the celebration. The music starts at 10, doors at 9:30. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave. (773) 276-3600

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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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