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Tuesday, December 12

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Transmission
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Review Wed Feb 09 2011

Review: The Radio Dept. @ Empty Bottle, 2/8

I should mention up top that I went to this show in place of another Transmissioner who was under the weather. However, until Tuesday's early gig, I hadn't consciously heard the Radio Dept. in nearly 7 years because [name redacted] adored their first album, listened to it often and then ended our relationship in a brutal manner. After that their presence just sort of eroded in my memory. But every band deserves a second shot, even if the people who introduce them to you don't.

The Radio Dept. once came off as a Jesus & Mary Chain soundalike that happened to incorporate electronic beats. Over the years they've flipped it to where the focus appears to be the electronics. (They even ditched the live drummer.) Distorted guitars still play a major role, but now the band sounds like a noisy male-led Saint Etienne with elements of jangly C86 music. Songs become recognizable on the beats and then bring in guitars and vocals like clockwork. The Swedish trio eased into their set thanks to each tune's reception of hoots, hollers and excited applause (and requests for "Bad Reputation") from a clearly rabid audience.

Once they fell into their groove, they plowed through 45 minutes that hit across the stages of their career. From their most shoegaze-like "Why Won't You Talk About It?" to the recent "David" sounding like the Junior Boys to numerous other songs between those styles. (A guy standing behind me said he only knew them from Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, so I don't feel too bad about forgetting some song titles.) With every song clocking in under 5 minutes and the night being on a timer, it wasn't a surprise that the band ended early to the disappointment of the crowd. They got on stage, played well, cracked a joke about it being too early to be drunk and made their exit. How about it for Swedes and their efficiency?

 
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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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Editor: Sarah Brooks, sarah@gapersblock.com
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